Lynne Kiesling I hope all of you economists out there are following the current brouhaha between Amazon and the publisher Macmillan, because the number of fascinating economics issues is stunning. In brief, Macmillan is one of the publishers working with Apple on the iPad and Apple’s ebook store. At the same time (I remain agnostic … More Publishers and Ebooks: Innovation, Drm, and Resale Price Maintenance
Lynne Kiesling While I’m out reading around … Jonathan Adler asks “Who remembers the Housemartins?” I do, I do! I actually liked them better than their Beautiful South spinoff, although both have a dark humor and a tight, jangly, pop-y vibe that was one of my favorite themes in British music in the 1980s. Sadly, … More Adler on the Housemartins: Sunday Song Lyric
Lynne Kiesling Just a quick note to bring your attention to, and endorse, the point Don Boudreaux made in a recent letter to the editor of the Washington Post: To the extent that trade – both national and international – is restricted, incumbent capitalists are shielded from what Joseph Schumpeter called the “gale of creative … More Boudreaux on Populism and Corporatist Capitalism
Michael Giberson After over 90 years of operating in competition with a rival electric utility in town, late last year Lubbock Power & Light and Xcel announced a deal in which municipal electric utility LP&L would buy out Xcel’s distribution assets and customer accounts in the city for $87 million, leaving LP&L as a monopoly … More How Valuable Will a Monopoly Be to Lubbock Power & Light?
Michael Giberson I’m not necessarily opposed to government funding for research, but does General Electric really need taxpayer funds in order to do research on high-temperature electronics intended to support high tech oil and gas drilling? Isn’t this exactly the kind of applied product research that, together, patent protections and markets can manage just fine? … More Government Sponsored Applied Corporate Research
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Michael Giberson Are their barriers impeding integration of variable energy resources to the electric grid? FERC wants to know: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) seeks comment on the extent to which barriers may exist that impede the reliable and efficient integration of variable energy resources (VERs) into the electric grid, and whether reforms are … More Integrating Variable Energy Resources to the Electric Power Grid
Michael Giberson Reports from Haiti suggest that prices for many useful and necessary goods have jumped considerably since the earthquake. Candles, matches, ice, water, food items, bus trips from the capital, petrol, plastic sandals, charcoal, rice, sugar – the list of items now selling at dramatically higher prices seems endless. Last week I suggested that … More Price Gouging in Haiti
Michael Giberson In the wholesale power markets world, commercial energy storage concepts are commonly somewhat of an afterthought. None of the large regional wholesale power markets integrated into transmission operations put too much effort into thinking about energy storage as they developed their market rules. A part of the problem is that the transmission system … More Energy Storage on the Grid: Transmission Equipment or Market Participant? (Again)
Michael Giberson One bill,, submitted to the New York State Assembly last year (but, so far as I can tell, not passed into law; ADDED: See status note below.), proposes to grant consumers a private right of action when they become victims of price gouging in times of emergency. Currently only the state’s Attorney General … More A Private Right of Action on Price Gouging