Schools across the nation provide similar access to computers and the Internet to their students. However, researchers have found that students from different income levels have a great difference in their access to home computers. One study found that children had computers available in 96.5 percent of upper income households whereas only 45.4 percent of low-income households had a computer. Several studies have shown that high reading and math achievement among elementary school children correlate with the use of computers at home.
Other studies have shown that academic achievement among older students also correlates with computer ownership. Far fewer teens with access to home computers drop out of high school, and almost half go to college. Moreover, home computers give students multiple advantages, from Internet access for research to the ability to produce more polished assignments.
For both elementary and high school, the correlation between computer ownership and academic achievement holds after controlling for family income, parents’ education, and other factors.
- Bell, Sherry Mee. “Closing the digital divide: update from the early childhood longitudinal study.” The Journal of Educational Research, September 1, 2006.
- “UC-Santa Cruz study: Computer, Internet access lead to student success.” (University Wire) Spartan Daily, San Jose, California, April 26, 2005.
Developing market economies in eastern Europe
The economies of Eastern European countries grew rapidly from the 1990s until early 2007. Since then, however, economic growth, which was once over 10% in many countries, has slowed down considerably. In Estonia, for example, it is 4.5%, and in Hungary 1.3%. Unemployment continues to be high in many Eastern European nations, about 8% in Hungary and about 50% in Poland. Inflation—a rise in prices—threatens spending and growth. Some analysts fault political trends for contributing to economic problems. In some countries, disagreements between political parties and calls for higher taxes, stronger protections for labor, and nationalization of industries that had been privatized have created a business climate that is less attractive to foreign investors. More attractive countries are those with lower tax rates, such as Slovakia and Romania, and where democratic governments are entrenched, such as the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
- Economist.com, “A Magyar mess,” March 27, 2008.
- Economist.com, “Coming in to land,” February 14, 2008.
- Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU media directory, “Eastern Europe: booming economies, dangerous politics,” July 5, 2007.
For seasonal products, market equilibrium is not constant but changes as the season progresses. The sale of seasonal clothing and accessories, such as swimsuits and sunglasses, for example, goes through four stages. First, there is an introductory phase when prices are high and the products are not yet widely available. Few units are sold as consumers familiarize themselves with the new styles. During the second stage, products can be found in many stores and prices drop to a level acceptable to both buyers and sellers. This stage begins immediately before the start of the season and ends about mid-season. After that, the third stage begins. Demand for the products drop, so sellers drop their prices as well and put goods on “sale.” The fourth, or liquidation, stage comes at the end of the season when there is almost no demand. Prices are reduced considerably to attract buyers. Sellers need to liquidate goods from the previous season to bring in goods for the following season.
- Cowie, Robin. “Segment 1 – Supply and Demand on eBay – Part I.” Interview with Skip McGrath. Entrepreneur Magazine: E-Biz Radio Show, January 29, 2007.
- Mosley, Sharon. “Made in the shade: Sunglass trends for 2008.” The Paramus Post, April 1, 2008, (accessed May 12, 2008).