01/29/14The Wedding Party Dilemma- To Go or Not to Go?
The cost and benefit of human relationships cannot always be measured in dollars and cents.
01/29/14Lounging in Luxury - Can You Afford It?
David R. Schlesinger
The value of luxury goods can be preserved only if access to them is restricted.
11/30/10On Your Mark. Get Set. Scrub!
When the majority chooses the “right” choice, it pays off to choose the “left,” especially when it comes to personal hygiene.
11/30/10Lending an Invisible Hand
The efforts to polish my resume for selfish reasons ended up helping many worthy causes.
03/26/07Make Me an Offer
A salesman on commission has an incentive to practice perfect price discrimination.
Price hikes in anticipation of shortages can lead to re-allocation of scarce resources to higher-valued uses.
01/16/06Efficient but not Fair?
K. K. Fung
Efficiency may conflict with fairness because it is often difficult to re-distribute the gain from greater efficiency.
02/23/04Excess Demand Blues - Scalpers profit from ticket shortage
Excess demand generated by low concert ticket price created profitable opportunity for scalpers.
11/22/03Who Sets the Curve?
Even though extra study time will improve only one's absolute position but not one's relative position in the grading curve, competitive pressure will ensure that any agreement to not out-study each other will be broken.
The over-reliance on sales tax for state revenue in Tennessee has created a budget crisis as its border-town residents increasingly shop in neighboring states with lower sales tax rates.
05/08/03Race Day Payoff
Because of their scarcity value, prizes often induce wasteful resource expenditures among competitors that collectively may exceed the face value of the prizes.
04/03/03Get in Where You Fit in
Quoting room rates according to the guest's elasticity of demand improves the bottom line when there is surplus capacity.
10/26/02Mickey Mouse Economics
By spreading out large fixed cost over more customers, price discrimination directly increases Disney World's profit.
08/01/02Grade A Material
In the absence of perfect information, insurers charge premiums according to classes of risks rather than individual risks.
12/21/01Why Are the Prices Different?
Yapei Alice Tung
Japanese supermarkets charge higher prices for machine-vended items to customers who value their convenience.
12/21/01The Annoying Neighbor
Tit-for-tat is one way to force producers of negative externalities to internalize them.
10/24/01To Stand or Not to Stand?
Charging a time fee for using restrooms may reduce congestion by discouraging overuse.
04/19/01DVD or Wait
Film companies can increase their revenues by releasing higher-priced DVD's before lower-priced videocassettes.
04/19/01A Good Fence Makes Good Neighbors
Daniel de Vilchis, M.L.
Fencing makes it easier to enforce property rights.
03/30/01Discriminating Business Sense
Club owner increases revenue by charging customers according to their demand elasticity.
02/15/01The Tragedy of the Popsicle Commons
Over-exploitation of commons resources could be avoided if the rights to commonly owned resources are assigned to individual owners.
11/28/00Taxes and Commercials, Necessary Evils?
Taxes and TV commercial take away what we could have otherwise, but are necessary to support 'free services'.
Rent control in Boston, MA has led to most apartments charging rent right up to the price ceiling. The effective rent is actually higher if under-the-table payments are included.
07/27/00Variety Is the Spice of Life?
Elizabeth Blose Edmundson
Thanks to the law of diminishing marginal utility, couples in a heated love relationship manages to divert exclusive time spent together to other higher yielding activities.
07/27/00The Waiting Game
Waiting line management employs allocational mechanisms much like those for different economic systems. All these mechanisms seek to combine equity with efficiency in allocating scarce resources.
02/25/00More Money, More Options
Fast foods are inferior goods that are used more when income is low. "Sit down" restaurant meals are normal goods that are consumed more when income is high.
02/02/00To Tax or not to Tax?
K. K. Fung
Sales tax is easier to avoid than income tax in the age of ecommerce.