Economics research topics on climate change, the Olympics and the presidential campaign

Interesting research paper topics on the economy are to discuss economic development on the national and regional level. Current events economics, influenced by climate change, the Olympics and the presidential campaign, for example, can all affect national and regional economics.

Learn more about economics on a national and regional level. (Credit: The National Herald)

Learn more about economics on a national and regional level. (Credit: The National Herald)

Here are some term paper topics you might want to explore.

National economics

An interesting research paper topic on the national economy is to discuss presidential candidates and job creation. A favorite theme among all politicians is to say they will create lots of jobs (you’ve probably heard it a dozen times already). In reality, a president has little influence over the factors that control job creation, such as market forces, tax incentives, cheap overseas labor, corporate policy, duty to shareholders, and state and local laws. Much of this power resides in Congress and state legislatures.

Since 2000, the United States has lost about 5 million manufacturing jobs. A president in office cannot just tell America’s corporations to move their factories back to America or to hire lots of people. In “Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs Would Be Harder Than It Sounds,” posted on NPR’s Morning Edition August 18, 2016, Jim Zarroli noted: “Presidents simply don’t have the power to tell companies whom to hire or where to manufacture,” says Jeffrey Bergstrand, professor of finance at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. “Firms are going to make the decisions for their shareholders. If [Donald Trump] wants to do this, he is going to have to use government institutions and laws to restrict the decisions of firms,” Bergstrand says.

One tactic is to impose tariffs on products coming into the United States, but this isn’t a popular decision, as countries that have tariffs imposed on their goods often retaliate by imposing tariffs on imported American goods or boycotting American goods altogether, reducing demand for American products worldwide, which causes American workers to lose their jobs. It’s a vicious cycle.

Regional economics

For your term paper you could write on the economic boost Brazil received for hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics. Before the games, Brazil was facing a record recession, unemployment, political corruption, Zika virus outbreak, and calls that money spent on the Olympics would be better spent on the poor, schools, and police. However, because of the Olympics, some economists say the worst is over for Brazil, which saw its stock market rise 35% this year, the MSCI Brazil Index added 8% since the Olympics opened, and investors have hope. “We think any improvement in the economy could have a tremendous impact on Brazilian companies and the business environment in general,” said Gustavo Stenzel, Franklin Templeton’s director of Latin America strategy in “The Olympics Could Mark Brazil’s Economy Hitting Bottom,” by Jen Wieczner in Fortune.com August 12, 2016.

Global issues affect regional economics

Another interesting term paper topic could be a discussion on how national or global factors can affect regional economics. A pertinent example is climate change. Flooding in Louisiana, drought and wild fires in California, and tornadoes in the plain states are affecting state budgets and states’ ability to handle local consequences of a changing climate, which is out of their control.

“Extreme weather caused more than $112 million damages in 2015 according to preliminary figures from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management,” reported Sarah Terry-Cobb in “Earthly Economics: Covering the Costs of Climate Change,” in The Journal Record April 21, 2016. “The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster assistance funds for damages resulting from storms in the summer and winter of 2015. Summer storms caused at least $41.49 million in damages from flooding, tornadoes and straight-line winds, according to state [Office of Emergency Management] estimates.” Extreme weather caused damage from snow and ice and affected the state’s winter wheat crop.

For more information, check out Questia’s library on National and Regional Economics.

What are some important national or regional economic issues that should be discussed?

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