Thursday, 3 November 2011

Economics at a young age

From the food blog at
But not all candy is created equal, as all children will tell you. And increasingly American kids are getting an early lesson in economics — and business — by finding ways to trade their Halloween candy with friends and siblings.

I decided to peek in on a candy trading party in one of the top 10 Trick-or-Treat scenes in the country — Washington, D.C. I spent the evening with 25 kids, most about 11 years old, who aggressively traded candy after working the streets of the Chevy Chase neighborhood Monday night.

Within seconds of returning home, the first group at the trading party spilled their pillow cases onto the floor and started making piles.

"I've got Whoppers and Nerds. Who wants 'em?" Sierra Lewter, 11, shouted across the room once the floor opened.

Sierra quickly became the queen of Reese's by jumping into the market early. While most kids were still organizing their piles by brand, she was already making moves and trading her way to a hefty collection of Reese's Pieces and Peanut Butter Cups.

Lauryn Donahue displayed a solid grasp of the concept of excess supply. She was working hard to move the less-desirable candy given out at her house earlier that night.


The decibel level in the candy-trading room rivaled that of Wall Street. The trading peaked about 20 minutes in as cross-room deals had Milk Duds flying overhead while a Jolly Rancher came the other way. Whoppers went for Smarties. Kit Kats went for a Twix. Charleston Chews, the pennies of the lot, didn't seem to move at all.


As the trading died down, the candy consumption began. Everyone seemed satisfied with the deals they had made.
The first fundamental theorem of welfare economics in action.

No comments: