Economists Do It With Models

Monday, June 22, 2009

No One Makes You Shop At Wal-Mart, Or Go To Fenway Park For That Matter...

I am assuming that at least some of you have taken an introductory course in microeconomics. If so, maybe you can relate to the scenario that I face each year. My class goes as follows: supply and demand, social welfare and the effects of regulation, externalities and public goods, firm behavior,... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Follow Up: Be Careful With Those Commitment Devices...

A few days ago I posted about how announcing your goals or intentions can make you less likely to follow through. It seems like people haven't caught on to this concept, since in doing some marketing research I came upon the following site: http://www.43things.com/ The site's tagline is "List your... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, June 19, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed, Nudge Harder?

Over the last couple of years, I think I have decided that I am a fan of libertarian paternalism. (That link goes to an old post from almost exactly two years ago, which is kind of funny, typos and all. Oh, passage of time...) I do think that part of the appeal is the oxymoronic nature of the term... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Be Careful With Those Commitment Devices...

As a behavioral economist (and also a person who exhibits most of the biases and shortcomings that I study), I think a lot about commitment devices. (Sidenote: I am shocked that "commitment device" doesn't seem to have a Wikipedia page.) Commitment devices are a way to overcome the discrepancy... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, June 15, 2009

An Economist Reads An STD Warning Poster...

When I posted before with the title "An Economist Reads The Newspaper", I had no idea that it would be a theme...nor did I envision the theme taking a turn for the creepy this soon. Regardless, I was walking in the Harvard Science Center the other day and saw a poster that said the following:... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Can't Afford To Save Money At Costco...

A friend forwarded me an article that made me think of the title of this post. I think the "can't afford to save money at Costco" thing was popular to say a few years ago, and it makes a surprising amount of sense. In theory, you are getting a good deal by buying in bulk, but there are a number of... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frasier Understands The Multiplier Concept...

We've been hearing a lot lately about how government spending is supposedly going to get us out of a recession. I'll leave the value judgments for the end and start with the reasoning. The reason that spending is attractive is because there is a theoretical multiplier effect on Gross Domestic... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Economies of Scale In Real Estate, Girl Style...

From the Onion, a reminder about economies of scale: Nation's Girlfriends Unveil New Economic Plan: 'Let's Move In Together' It's meant to be funny, but I've heard a number of stories from people in high rent areas that imply that there's something to be said for the concept. (In Cambridge at least,... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Economics of Cocktails And Taxes...

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook about a Massachusetts sales tax increase. The current sales tax rate in Massachusetts is 5 percent, and the new legislation will bring that to 6.25 percent as well as remove the sales tax exemption on alcohol. My friend's comment... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Save The Music!?? And A Lesson On Related Goods...

(A very dear friend of mine said that he hoped I was being ironic with the title of this post, since he is so sick of the cliche. I told him that a. the default with me should be to assume there is some sort of sarcasm or snark present, and b. if I was being serious there would be no question marks.... Sign in to see full entry.

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