Daily Archives: 03/29/2011

Republicans and Environmental Progress

Economist’s View

via Republicans and Environmental Progress.

This was more exciting than Econ 202?

Northwestern students watch couple demonstrating sex toy

"It is probably something I will remember for the rest of my life. I can’t say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there," said Northwestern senior Justin Smith. Smith, 21, said students were told there would be a "sex tour operator" speaking about fetishes after class, but they didn’t initially know there would be a live demonstration.


US Housing Prices, Nominal and Real (1890-2010)


Housing prices trends don’t look the same if you adjust for inflation.


On a side note, the designer of the above, Catherine Mulbrandon over at Visualizing Economics, has a kickstarter campaign to fund production of a new publication on US Income. She does great work and I recommend you donate, if so inclined.

US Housing Prices, Nominal and Real (1890-2010)
Fri, 25 Mar 2011 13:24:00 GMT

“The Problem with Price Gouging Laws”

This always seem an area where most folks don’t get the economict’s point of view.

Michael Giberson

Regulation magazine, Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring 2011

Regulation magazine, Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 issue of Regulation magazine carries my article, “The Problem with Price Gouging Laws.”

One bit:

Economists and policy analysts opposed to price gouging laws have relied on the simple logic of price controls: if you cap price increases during an emergency, you discourage conservation of needed goods at exactly the time they are in high demand. Simultaneously, price caps discourage extraordinary supply efforts that would help bring goods in high demand into the affected area. In a classic case of unintended consequences, the law harms the very people whom lawmakers intend to help. The logic of supply and demand, so clear to economists, has had little effect on price gouging policies.

One of the reasons I’m fascinated by price gouging is that it involves a tight tangle of economics, moralizing, ethics, psychology, law and public policy. Most economists are persuaded by the supply and demand argument. Many non-economists rebel at the idea that merchants should be free to raise prices on goods that are in high demand due to emergencies. Working out good policy in this area presents some interesting challenges.

“The Problem with Price Gouging Laws”
Michael Giberson
Mon, 21 Mar 2011 13:06:41 GMT