How Much Profit Is Too Much?

Lynne Kiesling Last week’s quarterly earnings announcements made for a lot of wailing and tooth-gnashing about the profits of oil companies. I was too buried in other things to opine, but others said smart and useful things. Take, for example, this question from Russ Roberts to those who want to impose a windfall profits tax … More How Much Profit Is Too Much?More How Much Profit Is Too Much?

Quantum Dots Accidentally Replace Incandescent Lighting?

Lynne Kiesling Last week Randall Parker had a neat post on LED lighting advances, and how much energy savings we could create by switching from incandescent to LED. The article he cites suggests that the switch would also save us $125 million/year in electricity costs. Randall wonders if that number is low, but I don’t … More Quantum Dots Accidentally Replace Incandescent Lighting?More Quantum Dots Accidentally Replace Incandescent Lighting?

Juries, Eminent Domain, and Public Choice

Lynne Kiesling Todd Zywicki has an interesting post over at Volokh about post-Kelo juries. His argument is good: public choice theory is consistent with the political failure to protect private property rights in the Kelo decision, all the way up to the Supreme Court. In the face of these political dynamics, juries change their decisions, … More Juries, Eminent Domain, and Public ChoiceMore Juries, Eminent Domain, and Public Choice

Marketing and Selling Hybrid Vehicles

Lynne Kiesling U.S. auto manufacturers, sit up and pay attention: the long-run effect of these high gasoline prices may be a change in the preferences of customers. What brought this home to me this morning was this post from Glenn Reynolds about car shopping with his wife. They compared a Toyota Highlander hybrid and a … More Marketing and Selling Hybrid VehiclesMore Marketing and Selling Hybrid Vehicles

Rockets and Feathers

Michael Giberson Which business would you rather be in, one in which the price of your product is rocketing upwards, or one in which the price is slowly drifting down? “Rockets” and “feathers” are names characterizing a pair of stylized facts about the usual behavior of retail gasoline prices: when prices are going up, they … More Rockets and FeathersMore Rockets and Feathers

I’m Shocked, Shocked to Find Competitive Dynamics Going On

Lynne Kiesling The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that “gasoline prices fall as imports rise, demand drops”. Naturally, I cackled gleefully and clapped my hands when reading this. The EIA weekly petroleum status report indicates that Total product supplied over the last four-week period has averaged over 20.0 million barrels per day, or 3.2 … More I’m Shocked, Shocked to Find Competitive Dynamics Going OnMore I’m Shocked, Shocked to Find Competitive Dynamics Going On

Wired Articles on Power Technology

Lynne Kiesling Wired has some interesting, short articles right now on power technologies: wireless power transmission by converting electricity to lasers or microwaves and then re-converting them to electricity, broadband over power lines (BPL) deployment, and the effect of wind farms on wildlife, particularly birds in the Altamont Pass in California. Here’s one question I … More Wired Articles on Power TechnologyMore Wired Articles on Power Technology

Apology

Lynne Kiesling Sorry for the radio silence on this end. Piles and piles of work, has felt like a virtual hamster wheel. Sadly, my exercise routine has suffered too, so I’m behind in writing here and I’m out of shape. This, too, shall pass. … More Apology

Biometric Transactions Arrive in Chicago

Lynne Kiesling According to Chicagoist, Cub Foods stores in Chicago will start using a biometric payment system in November. The Pay By Touch system will enable shoppers to debit their checking accounts through a device that scans your finger, and uses its unique measurements as identification. The comments on the post are interesting, including melodramatic … More Biometric Transactions Arrive in ChicagoMore Biometric Transactions Arrive in Chicago

Does Game Theory Generate Testable Predictions?

Lynne Kiesling To answer my own question, I’d say it depends on the model, and the stringency of the assumptions, and whether or not the model’s (and the economist’s) focus is on understanding human action, or on constructing an elegant, self-contained model. I agree with Tyler Cowen’s list of ways that economics research can derive … More Does Game Theory Generate Testable Predictions?More Does Game Theory Generate Testable Predictions?