New York’s zone pricing ban not eliminating retail gasoline price differences

Michael Giberson At least some retail gasoline consumers in New York expected that the zone pricing ban implemented last year would tend to equalize retail gasoline prices in an area. Rochester TV station WHEC discovers that a year after the law was signed by the governor, and about 10 months after the zone pricing law … More New York’s zone pricing ban not eliminating retail gasoline price differences

No market allowed for desired prayer spaces

Michael Giberson Al Roth at Market Design, “Reserving spaces in crowded places,” notes that authorities are cracking down on the illegal practice of reserving prayer spaces and renting them out to worshipers.  He quotes from the Saudi Gazette: “It is forbidden to reserve places in the mosques, unless the person has left for urgent reasons … More No market allowed for desired prayer spaces

No results found for “true number may be lower or higher”

Michael Giberson The true number of hits for the “true number may be higher” are lower than reported. Mind Hacks (via Cheap Talk and Marginal Revolution) points out news reports often stress when stating an estimated value that the “true number may be higher,” but infrequently that the “true number may be lower.” The primary … More No results found for “true number may be lower or higher”

Peer-based comparisons can induce consumers to reduce energy use

Michael Giberson Research by Ian Ayres, Sophie Raseman, and Alice Shih indicates that providing energy consumers with information on energy consumption relative to a peer group tends to reduce energy use. Here is their abstract: By providing feedback to customers on home electricity and natural gas usage with a focus on peer comparisons, utilities can … More Peer-based comparisons can induce consumers to reduce energy use

“Gas station owners were surprisingly altruistic during that time of crisis”

Michael Giberson The post title was extracted from the conclusion of Henry Neilson’s article, “Price gouging versus price reduction in retail gasoline markets during Hurricane Rita” (Economic Letters, October 2009), but I’m not sure the evidence supports the conclusion of altruism. Neilson collected gasoline price data in the Byran-College Station, Texas, area for several weeks … More “Gas station owners were surprisingly altruistic during that time of crisis”

Deductive economic rationality and its limitations

Lynne Kiesling In this really outstanding post on FT.com’s Economists Forum, Roman Freedman and Michael Goldberg point out some of the essential flaws of the underlying concept of “rationality” as it is defined and used in economics: The centrepiece of this standard of rationality, the so-called “Rational Expectations Hypothesis”, presumes that economists can model exactly … More Deductive economic rationality and its limitations