Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ethanol, Pizza and March Madness

I ran across this piece on the MSNBC site. You may have seen the reports when they aired. Nevertheless, as we settle in to watch our favorite teams compete in the NCAA or NIT tournaments, you might want to consider how the impact of the corn-for-ethanol program on other agricultural commodity prices is impacting consumers as they pick up the phone for delivery, settle into a favorite neighborhood sports-viewing venue, or otherwise get ready for tournament festivities. It does a good job of bringing the impact of larger economic issues down to the pocketbook level.

The videos on the site are also quite good - but the one on pizza is perhaps the most relevant for your students. I personally would not use the beer video in school.

I look forward to your comments.


JenFed said...

I believe that food price inflation is an excellent topic that students can truly relate to. One of our economists at the Kansas City Federal Reserve recently wrote a short article on the factors driving food price inflation that is easy to read (available at, and we put together a group of discussion questions and resources for high school teachers on this topic as well (available at The article goes beyond just the impact of ethanol and higher oil prices, and looks at factors such as higher labor costs and international demand on what we pay for food.

Tim Schilling said...

They sound great. I hope some of the readers check them out.

Thanks for sharing the resources.