Charts and Graphs

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

The Recession and Recovery in Perspective

Compares output and employment changes during the present recession with the same data for the 10 previous recessions.

Economist Magazine

Quantifying history: two thousand years in one chart

Visual demonstration of the exponential growth of human health and population and productivity.

The Atlantic

How we spend, and what that tells us about the economy

Even Americans who think they know where their money goes probably have no idea how their spending compares with that of their parents or grandparents. But such figures yield a surprising picture of how our economy works--and how it's changing...

Interactive Maps

New York Times

The Geography of Government Benefits

The share of Americans' income that comes from government benefit programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, more than doubled over the last four decades, rising from 8 percent in 1969 to 18 percent in 2009.


Paul Toscano

The Worst Hyperinflation Situations of All Time

Imagine that during the time it took to drink a cup of coffee, the price of that cup of coffee doubled. Although extreme, this becomes the reality of hyperinflation, where prices change so rapidly that everyday items rise exponentially and money becomes worthless, virtually overnight or even in the course of a working day...


The Best Countries for Starting a Business Now

The World Bank's annual Doing Business report ranks the ease of doing business within 183 countries based on business-friendly regulations. The formula takes into account the ease of starting a business, factoring minimum cost, time, and available capital. Which economies are fostering start-ups? Get this, entrepreneurs: While the United States ranks fourth in the over-all ease of doing business in 2011, it didn't crack the top 10 for start-ups. Here's the count-down, starting at No. 9.


Blair Herter

Has Gaming Really Gotten More Expensive?

The Nintendo 3DS launches soon with a $250 price tag that has some people crying foul. But when inflation is considered, have consoles and games really gotten more expensive? Blair Herter takes a hard look at the numbers to find out...

John Papola and
Russ Roberts

'Fear the Boom and Bust' a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there's a 'boom and bust' cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

John Papola and
Russ Roberts

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession ended almost two years ago, in the summer of 2009. Yet we're all uneasy. Job growth has been disappointing. The recovery seems fragile. Where should we head from here? Is that question even meaningful? Can the government steer the economy or have past attempts helped create the mess we're still in? In 'Fight of the Century', Keynes and Hayek weigh in on these central questions. Do we need more government spending or less? What's the evidence that government spending promotes prosperity in troubled times? Can war or natural disasters paradoxically be good for an economy in a slump? Should more spending come from the top down or from the bottom up? What are the ultimate sources of prosperity? Keynes and Hayek never agreed on the answers to these questions and they still don't. Let's listen to the greats. See Keynes and Hayek throwing down in 'Fight of the Century'!

Don Boudreaux
George Mason University

Free Trade v. Protectionism

According to Prof. Don Boudreaux, free trade is nothing more than a system of trade that treats foreign goods and services no differently than domestic goods and services. Protectionism, on the other hand, is a system of trade that discriminates against foreign goods and services in an attempt to favor domestic goods and services. In theory, free trade outperforms protectionism by bringing lower cost goods and services to consumers. In practice, the benefits of free trade can be seen in countries like America and Hong Kong. Both countries have a relatively high degree of free trade, and, as a consequence, have experienced an explosion of wealth.