Dubai Default: Nothing to see here, just move along.

It's too early to tell, but a second leg of crisis could be just around the corner.  It'll come as a surprise to most Americans, though.  It always does. If you just read American newspapers, you might not know that financial markets around the world plunged over news that the government-owned Dubai World – upon … Continue reading Dubai Default: Nothing to see here, just move along.

A thought on Price Discrimination and Wal-Mart

Just finished this previous post on price discrimination, and it triggered a thought.  Economists spend a  lot of time (particularly in a principles course) discussing market structures like monopoly.  We don't spend enough on it's reverse equivalent, monopsony.    In monopsony, there's just one buyer, often inelastic supply, and barriers to entry of new buyers.  In … Continue reading A thought on Price Discrimination and Wal-Mart

Price Discrimination & Big “Black Friday” Sales

Arnold Kling explains partly why stores offer Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) sales: price discrimination (see below the  fold).  Price discrimination is the practice of charging two (or more) different groups of buyers a different price for the same thing.  The idea is to charge a high price to people willing to pay a higher … Continue reading Price Discrimination & Big “Black Friday” Sales

Fox News needs to go to school for more than just economics…

Um, I didn't think "fair and balanced" was supposed to mean "ignorant of basic arithmetic", but I guess I was wrong.  Fox News is that bad. The Visual Display of Stupidby Kieran Healy on November 25, 2009Fox News Pie ChartI’d almost be happier if this turned out to be some kind of fake. But in … Continue reading Fox News needs to go to school for more than just economics…

News flash: Basic Economics Surprises Reporters

Another former student asks: Am I missing something here? What's so remarkable about realizing that quantity demanded rises with a decrease in price? Are they just that dumb? Well, no you're not missing anything here, but obviously the reporters and possibly the Subway managements missed something in their Principles of Economics classes.  Actually they … Continue reading News flash: Basic Economics Surprises Reporters

Does insurance raise prices?

A former student asks: I have a quick question for you. I would like your take on how insurance affects price in a particular market. My understanding is insurance would increase the number of people of are ABLE and willing to use a good/service. Where I am going with this is... Do you think eliminating … Continue reading Does insurance raise prices?

Still Ugly: Employment for October

From BLS: The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The largest job losses over the month were in con- struction, manufacturing, and retail trade.....The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) … Continue reading Still Ugly: Employment for October