From Coins to Big Bucks: The Evolution of General-Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Cards

April 2015

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Prepaid cards were invented to solve a problem: replacing coin usage in pay telephones. Since then, prepaid cards have evolved into a huge competitive market for general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards. Read more about GPR prepaid cards in the inaugural edition of Page One Economics Focus on Finance.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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“Strong” is usually preferred over “weak.” But for the value of a country’s currency, it’s not that simple. “Strong” isn’t always better, and “weak” isn’t always worse. Learn more about foreign exchange rates in the March 2015 newsletter—“Is a Strong Dollar Better than a Weak Dollar?”

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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Historically, money was made of either valuable commodities such as gold or silver coins or pieces of paper (bills) representing these commodities. The United States severed its last official monetary link to gold in 1971. The January 2015 Page One Economics Newsletter describes some of the advantages and disadvantages of the gold standard.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

Smoothing the Path: Balancing Debt, Income, and Saving for the Future

November 2014

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The life cycle model shows that saving for the future requires people to limit consumption during their working years and save so they will have a “nest egg” to draw on during retirement. Recent changes in how people save for retirement have shifted some responsibility from firms to individuals.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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How are economics and the environment related? The quick answer is that environmental quality is a worthy goal, but there is an economic trade-off -- a clean environment does not come without costs. The September 2014 Page One Economics article, "Economics and the Environment", provides some economic strategies for protecting the environment.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

The Economics of Immigration: A Story of Substitutes and Complements

May 2014

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America is a nation of immigrants, who currently make up about 13 percent of the overall population. The May 2014 issue of the Page One Economics Newsletter shows how immigration affects the average American. The essay weighs the costs and benefits of immigration and discusses the concept of immigrant workers as substitutes for and complements to native-born workers.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tackles that question in a new report and highlights the trade-off presented by increasing the minimum wage. This issue of the newsletter explains the debate and discusses whether other approaches may be more effective in helping alleviate poverty.

Note:
Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

The Rising Cost of College: Tuition, Financial Aid, and Price Discrimination

January 2014

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The cost of a college education seems to be skyrocketing—but is it really? Learn about the concept of price discrimination and how it affects college costs.


Note:
Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

Description:
To understand why people trade, suppose you were limited to consuming only items you could find within walking distance of your house. Or, perhaps even worse, only items you could produce yourself. For most of us, this restriction would severely diminish the variety of goods and services we enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, the simplest answer to the question is that people (or entire countries) trade because they will enjoy a wider variety of goods.

Note:
Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

Description:
The unemployment rate always seems to be in the news, but did you know there are different kinds of unemployment? There is the natural rate of unemployment; cyclical, frictional, and structural unemployment; plus underemployment. Read the October 2013  Page One Economics Newsletter, “Why Scarce Resources Are Sometimes Unemployed,” to learn the differences.

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Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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Is there a recipe for economic growth? Perhaps some Miracle-Gro for the economy? If only it were that easy. While the exact recipe is a mystery, economists have identified some of the key ingredients. This month’s newsletter discusses the role that economic institutions play in fostering long-term economic growth.

Note:
Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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"Back in my day, a gallon of gas cost a quarter!" Has your grandfather ever said something like this to make a point about how expensive things are now?  The price of gasoline indeed used to be much lower. In fact, the price of gasoline has risen from a little over $1 per gallon in 1992 to a little over $3.50 per gallon 20 years later.

Note:
Prior to the Feb. 2012 issue, the newsletter was published under the title Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.

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