Legalize Sustainable Pricing to Promote Recovery from Disasters

Michael Giberson “Price gouging” is by intent a pejorative term. Nobody wants to get gouged, by a price or in any other manner. Analysts advocating or defending price flexibility for key goods and services in disaster struck areas are burdened from the beginning by the derogatory term. In an editorial essay advocating for post-flooding pricing … More Legalize Sustainable Pricing to Promote Recovery from Disasters

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013

Last week I attended Mark Finley’s presentation in Chicago of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy for this year. In his role as General Manager of Global Energy Markets at BP, Mark is responsible for this annual analytical survey of world energy production, consumption, and trends. He’s an outstanding economist whose presentations are a master … More BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013

Large Shale Gas Potential in the Uk

Interesting news — according to this BBC article, the most recent British Geological Survey indicates that there may be twice the shale gas deposits in the UK that were previously anticipated. Such a large potential source of natural gas has substantial implications: “If the estimates are proved correct, that would still suggest recoverable reserves of … More Large Shale Gas Potential in the Uk

The Criminal N.S.A.

From law professors Jennifer Stisa Granick and Christopher Jon Sprigman, in today’s New York Times: “We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a … More The Criminal N.S.A.

Course Video 6: Léon Walras and General Equilibrium

Lynne Kiesling Léon Walras and General Equilibrium Theory from Lynne Kiesling on Vimeo. I knew from the first economics course I took that I loved economics — the systematic analytical framework for understanding humans and our decisions, and the implications of those decisions for individuals and in aggregate, captivated me. I loved (and still do … More Course Video 6: Léon Walras and General Equilibrium

Price Gouging Defined: Looking for Family Resemblences

Michael Giberson A range of recent news stories report on price gouging, but the wide variety of cases in which the term “price gouging” gets invoked raises the question of what actually is price gouging. About all that these cases have in common is a price for a good higher than some other price used … More Price Gouging Defined: Looking for Family Resemblences

A Confused Economist Asks …

… a question unrelated to areas of economics and policy with which I am familiar. Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted down their farm bill proposal. Brad Plumer helpfully provides a pie chart summarizing the spending that the proposed bill would have authorized: What do you notice? The proposed funding for the SNAP program … More A Confused Economist Asks …

Economist Debate on Technological Progress

Lynne Kiesling The Economist recently did one of their periodic debates, this time on the pace and effects of technological progress. Moderator Ryan Avent framed the debate thus: This leads some scholars to conclude that accelerating technical change is an illusion. Autonomous vehicles and 3D printers are flashy but lack the transformative power of electricity … More Economist Debate on Technological Progress

Nrg Seeks Capacity Market for Texas

Michael Giberson Joe Ragan, a VP at Power generation company NRG, recently opined in the Houston Chronicle in favor of a capacity market for the ERCOT power grid in Texas. A capacity market provides what you might call “being there” payments to generators, whether the generator’s power turns out to be demanded in the market … More Nrg Seeks Capacity Market for Texas

Iowa Flooding and Price Gouging

Michael Giberson Tornadoes and floods have led to official declarations of disasters for parts of at least four states (Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, and Texas). All four states have laws against excessive price increases after emergencies, at least for the counties covered by the disaster declaration, and three of the Attorney Generals have issued a press … More Iowa Flooding and Price Gouging