Matsuda Economics Laboratory -MEL- © 2004-2010 Kazu Matsuda All rights reserved.

Matsuda Journal of Applied Economics

Issue 2: November 2007

This paper examines the strategies, marketing practices, profitability, and future of The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. in order to determine which company will make the greatest economic impact on the bottled beverage industry in the next 10 years.  We find that the strategies of the two companies are very similar; however, The Coca-Cola Company is better positioned in international markets, while PepsiCo. has diversified its product offering more.  In addition, PepsiCo. seems to have the stronger marketing strategy of the two companies, as they tend to have more celebrity marketers and flashier ad campaigns.  PepsiCo., despite lower margins, seems to be more profitable too.  Finally, both companies are well-positioned for the future, where healthy choices, new markets, and technological advances are the primary factors we consider.  Because The Coca-Cola Company is best positioned in international markets, where the greatest growth will be, we assert that The Coca-Cola Company will make the greatest economic impact on the bottled beverage industry in the next 10 years.

Facebook’s popularity has grown tremendously since its creation only three years ago.  This social website connects people throughout the world and makes staying in contact with another a lot easier.  Facebook has also created some controversy with privacy issues, police investigations, and safety concerns.  As Facebook continues to grow and spread to more countries, its creators are developing new ways to deal with these issues and increase the popularity and functionality of Facebook. 

In the mid 1970s most sports stadiums were designed to be used by multiple sports leagues.  This was done in an effort to save space and taxpayer money.  In addition, single stadiums were able to be used throughout the year, thus eliminating down time.  Due to the flexibility in design, the stadium could be used for other purposes outside the realm of sports.  Today,  more and more specialized stadiums are being built throughout the country as wealthy owners want their own stadiums under their own control.  This paper will look into two United States cities and the contrasting approaches in design, funding, and purpose of their respective stadiums.

In the following paper, we discuss various aspects of ethanol. Ethanol has been used for thousands of years, most notably as an alcoholic beverage. During the Civil War, ethanol was used as a major lighting fuel and later evolved into a fuel source for engines. With the invention of Henry Ford’s Model-T, the economy started seeing ethanol as an alternative to gasoline. Ethanol can be derived from many different products including corn, wheat, barley, potatoes, and sugar beets. The process of converting corn to ethanol is a delicate process. From grinding the corn into a powder to adding a small amount of gasoline in order to deter human consumption. When it comes what is gained and lost by the production of ethanol, there is a net energy gain but it is difficult to determine the exact number. In 2006, ethanol consumed 18% of the nation’s corn harvest or roughly 2.15 billion bushels. Ethanol is in high demand and many plants are being built all over the United States, predominantly in the Midwest. In the future, the demand for ethanol will increase tremendously. However, it will also affect the price of other materials and the consumers’ ability to provide food for their families. Instead of solely focusing on alternative gasoline solutions, we should find more economically feasible ways to help improve the status of the environment.


The housing market in the United States experienced a boom for fifteen years, but in 2006 began to show signs of cooling.  Commercial bank and government intervention worked to keep the boom going for awhile; however they ended up causing more problems when homeowners were forced into foreclosure after the boom.  In this paper we will examine the background of the market, some of the factors contributing to this slow down, such as interest rates and supply restrictions, as well as where it is now, and what the future may hold.  In addition we will explore the international housing market.

Music piracy is an ever-growing concern for the music industry.  Illegally downloading music off the internet violates the rights of those who have copyright ownership of said material.  Consumers have a sense of what is right and wrong, but their views are ultimately skewed when the issue of downloading music from the internet becomes a question.  Music piracy hurts not only the record industry, but also the consumers who are illegally downloading the material.   Several problems arise such as the decline of record sales and consumers not seeing this act as a moral issue.  Solutions to this problem include reward/loyalty programs and stricter penalties for those violating these laws.

This article addresses the positive and negative effects of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy.  This paper is intended to weigh the effects of illegal immigration on the economy as a whole.  This paper will not determine whether illegal immigration is positive or negative.  It will simply state the arguments of both sides of the issue. 

Relationships can be extremely rewarding, but they also have costs associated with them. The economics of a relationship refers to money, time, and effort, which are just a few things that are spent in order to find a mate and maintain the relationship. The life of a relationship appears to contain four stages which are dating, living together, married (with children sometimes), and, unfortunately, divorce. Each stage requires a different level of money, time, and effort. The stages should be considered and examined in order to determine whether or not it is worth maintaining the relationship.