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Archive for November, 2007

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Playstation Price Elasticity

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Video game players apparently have a very high price elasticity of demand for the Playstation 3.  According to PlayStation 3 sales have quadrupled since the company cut the price to $499 from $599 and introduced a $399 model, Otzman said. Wii has been the top-selling console since its introduction a year ago. Close substitutes […]

Another Reason Not to Go Greek

Monday, November 26th, 2007

My undergraduate university had a very large Greek system. There were 19 fraternities, 9 sororities, and 45 percent of students were in the Greek living system. I had some Greek friends, and was recruited by a couple friends to join there respective fraternities. The idea of buying into a group of “brothers” for life seemed […]

Wal-Mart Controversy

Monday, November 26th, 2007

I’ve been working on an essay about corporate social responsibility recently. It reminded me of a local debate a couple years back about whether Wal-Mart should be allowed to open a supercenter in my college town. Proponents of “smart growth” fervently argued that Wal-Mart lowers wages for workers and hurts small towns. Below is my […]

Resilient Markets

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

I haven’t blogged for the last few days because I was out of state visiting relatives for Thanksgiving.  While there, I read this Newsweek story by Rod Nordland on the improving situation in Iraq: The capital’s neighborhoods have calmed in large measure because each is now dominated by one sect or another, with tens of […]

Rediscovering My Inner Economist

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

The anticipation was too much. Discover Your Inner Economist, by Tyler Cowen, wasn’t available through interlibrary loan and I couldn’t wait. I went ahead and bought a used copy off Amazon. My expectations were really high going in. I had read and listened to a number of favorable book reviews and am a big fan […]

The Voucher Paradox

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Economists don’t agree on many things. When they do, they almost invariable face strict opposition from the public. From free trade to Pigou taxes, good economics collides with good politics. So, I was very surprised to find that educational vouchers are widely supported by economists and the general public, yet have had very little political […]

Where have all the free-traders gone?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

According to an early October WSJ poll, 59% of Republican voters think that foreign trade is bad for the economy. These voters agreed with the statement: “Foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy, because imports from abroad have reduced demand for American-made goods, cost jobs here at home, and produced potentially unsafe products.” […]

Doctors Don’t Offer Free Check-Ups

Monday, November 12th, 2007

In the comments section of Asymmetric Information: Car Trouble, laura notes that: “…the extra money they [mechanics] charge may be a reasonable part of return of the work they did for getting the information we do not have” She makes a valid point that mechanics need to be compensated for their knowledge of car problems.  […]

Coffee Shop Discrimination

Monday, November 12th, 2007

I’m always a little suspicious of research studies looking for discrimination in a competitive market.  So, when I read Tim Hartford’s piece over at Slate examining research out of Middlebury College on whether coffee shops discriminate against women, I wanted to take a look at the study. Caitlin Myers from Middlebury College had five undergraduate […]

Merit Aid

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar by Joshua Goodman on “Who Merits Financial Aid?  Massachusetts’ Adams Scholarship”.  It was a refreshing surprise given  the dull seminars I had attended earlier in the year.  Goodman, a job market candidate at Columbia, analyzed the effects of a scholarship program in Massachusetts that awards students […]

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