One of the best-explored economic phenomena is the tendency of retail prices to end in $0.99. This oddity, the subject of ample academic and lay interest, stems largely from consumers’ left-digit bias: we notice the dollar amount and ignore the cents. It’s the sort of fun behavioral quirk that keeps Freakonomics and Radiolab in business. … Continue reading The Price of Monopsony
We're in a season of big ambitious lefty policy proposals. Earlier this year everyone was arguing about the merits and feasibility of a jobs guarantee. Now we've moved on to the social wealth fund. A social (or sovereign) wealth fund is the "next big idea" for tackling inequality, reports Rachel Cohen at the Intercept, who … Continue reading Would A Social Wealth Fund Help Police Corporate Baddies?
The biggest question in economics today is whether capitalist competition still delivers the goods -- specifically, whether it delivers them at a price not excessively above the costs of production. If competition is strong, companies can't charge too much more than what they spent on labor, materials and overhead; otherwise, someone else would swoop in, … Continue reading Markups Everywhere
After many months of procrastination and delay, I've finally launched my blog. There has to be a first post, so this is the first post. The idea here is to have something like a public notebook, a ledger of bits and bobs that catch my interest. I'd like a place where I can release ideas … Continue reading Hello