Rather long (about 15 minute read) but intriguing article from The Atlantic that provides great context for trends that I have blogged about the growth of online shopping (here and here). The article describes how in this era of “big data” retailers are harnessing consumer information to price discriminate and obliterate the concept of a fixed price.
Here are a few excerpts:
Ask your students which of the following items they tend to purchase online:
- Food and Beverage?
See how their answers line up with current and expected online sales trends are for each of these categories. Notice how online sales are expected to continue to gain on “bricks and mortar” sales:
Think you have a good B.S. detector? Well, let’s find out. Fascinating research in New York Magazine article (Hat tip to Big Picture Blog) describes how researchers used Big Data techniques to comb through information provided by borrowers on a peer-to-peer lending site. The goal of their analysis: look for words that might predict whether or not a borrower might make good on a loan. They determined that five words were good predictors that a loan would be paid and five words were good predictors that a loan would NOT be repaid.
For the ten key words they identified, can you guess which five predict repayment and which five predict default?
I thought Econ teachers might like this interactive website. Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and owner of the L.A. Clippers (A $2 billion purchase) has done a public service by harmonizing data from federal, state and local governments and putting it all on a website, USA Spending.gov (note that this interactive may move here this summer).
So, how did the federal government spend $3.85 trillion in FY2016? Note that on the website, you can scroll your mouse over the individual elements to get additional information.
As we embark on an advocacy strategy that you will see unfold in the weeks and months, I become more convinced everyday that there is a groundswell of grassroots support for making financial education as much a part of K-12 as the three Rs. I also am beginning to recognize the gaping hole that exists for financial programs targeting underserved populations. This kind of fits the innovation model described in this Clay Christensen Harvard Business Review article where a disrupter targets markets that aren’t being served adequately today. As the list below shows, there seems to be a shortage of financial education providers customizing their product offering to adequately meet the needs of specific populations.
In the last few days alone, NGPF has received unsolicited inquiries from individuals serving diverse populations who are interested in expanding financial capability:
NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF’s Jessica Endlich and Sonia Dalal About Their New One-Semester Course
Inspiring Educator: Ami Amero (WCSH6) [Editor’s note: You can listen to Ami’s story on this NGPF podcast]
This week’s Maine Education Association Inspiring Educator is Ami Amero. Amero has been teaching history at Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman for the last 20 years. During her time there, she started a personal finance class to help students with real life finance after graduation. That class is now a requirement for all Forest Hill students to graduate. Amero is now asking local representatives to draft legislation to have the personal finance course a statewide requirement for all high school graduates.
Twin Falls High School personal finance class learns about home buying (KMVT11.com)
From the Guardian comes an interesting interactive which displays long-term trends in disposable income among different age groups in different countries. Students start by entering an age and a country (all G-8 countries are represented) and then see a series of charts that show three different analyses:
A recent Ron Lieber column in NY Times got me thinking about a useful skill that all young people should have: how to advocate for oneself in a manner that people in power will respond to.
Here’s the crux of his column:
A few articles that caught my attention over the past week:
- What If Your Credit Score Measured Your Financial Potential–Not Past Mistakes (Fast Company)?
Munir’s New York startup, RevolutionCredit, has a tagline of “Be More Than a Score”–which has an anti-Orwellian ring to it. His big idea is to use behavioral science to predict how someone might behave in their personal finances, augmenting the past-facing number kept by the credit bureaus, all other indicators be damned. “Most of the credit scoring models that exist today, in the U.S. or outside, are mainly transaction-data-based,” he says. “This means they are mostly backward-looking and negative selection. The RevolutionCredit model is both forward-looking and positive-selection based.”
- How the guy who got crushed in his $1 million bet with Warren Buffett makes excuses for his lame performance (Bloomberg):