Against Anti-anti-anti-price Gouging

First let’s unpack the “against anti-anti-anti-price gouging” title to get oriented: Price gouging – a common name for price increases of goods in demand due to an emergency Anti-price gouging – common attitudes toward price gouging sometimes made into laws Anti-anti-price gouging – standard economics defenses of price gouging and opposition to such laws Anti-anti-anti-price … More Against Anti-anti-anti-price Gouging

Are N95 Masks Essential Goods Covered by State Price Gouging Laws?

Should state laws prohibiting price gouging on essential goods and services apply to individual consumer purchases of N95 masks? The New York state law prohibits unconscionably excessive prices for “consumer goods and services vital and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers.” My question arises because the CDC does not recommend that the … More Are N95 Masks Essential Goods Covered by State Price Gouging Laws?

Consumer Complaints in Massachusetts Fell in the First Quarter of 2020

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has been active fighting against price gouging during the pandemic emergency. Actually, she was on the case even before the governor issued a stay-at-home order on March 23, 2020. Three days prior to that AG Healey added anti-price gouging regulations to the state regulatory code under emergency powers. She has … More Consumer Complaints in Massachusetts Fell in the First Quarter of 2020

Texas Price Gouging Law is Backfiring

Halea Walker and I have an op-ed appearing in the Dallas Morning News explaining that Texas’s anti-price gouging law comes with some unintended consequences. What I most want to say about price gouging laws is, in effect, “if you mess with price discovery, you’re going to have a bad time.” Unfortunately, that claim does not … More Texas Price Gouging Law is Backfiring

Worstall: Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging

Tim Worstall reminds us of the value of relying on prices to help get resources to where they are most useful: The economics of this is really terribly, terribly, simple. As a result of the disaster–of any disaster that is–some things are in short supply. Perhaps because some of the supply got damaged, or perhaps … More Worstall: Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging

Giberson Makes His Mark on Wall Street and Other Notes on Price Gouging Commentary

I get a mention in the September 12, 2017, Deal Book column in the New York Times: “Price caps discourage extraordinary supply efforts that would help bring goods in high demand into the affected area,” Michael Giberson, an instructor with the Center for Energy Commerce in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, … More Giberson Makes His Mark on Wall Street and Other Notes on Price Gouging Commentary

Surge Pricing Like a Boss

When Bruce Springsteen decided to do a run of shows at a Broadway theater with fewer than a thousand seats, he appeared to reject the laws of economics — or at least what would seem to be in his financial best interest. He limited ticket prices to between $75 and $850 and has been allocating … More Surge Pricing Like a Boss

Elasticity of Supply Reduces Hotel Price Spikes

Major sporting events can substantially boost demand for hotel rooms and, given the difficulty of building new hotels on short notice, lead to price hikes and consumer complaints about price gouging. As I wrote four years ago, “Super Bowls usually produce price gouging complaints,” but the complaints were especially high that year given the selection … More Elasticity of Supply Reduces Hotel Price Spikes

The Primary Reason for Quadrennial Gasoline Price-gouging Charges Against Marathon in Kentucky

On May 12, 2015 Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway filed a lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum Company alleging Marathon has engaged in anti-competitive practices that cause higher gasoline prices for Kentucky consumers. In making the announcement Conway said he has tried over and over to get the Federal Trade Commission or U.S. Department of Justice interested in the case, but … More The Primary Reason for Quadrennial Gasoline Price-gouging Charges Against Marathon in Kentucky

Dot’s Airline Price Gouging Investigation and a Political Economy-based Prediction

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it had launched an investigation into possible “unfair practices (e.g., price gouging) affecting air travel during the period of time that Amtrak service along the Northeast Corridor was delayed or suspended as a result of the May 12th derailment.” Five airlines received letters from the agency seeking … More Dot’s Airline Price Gouging Investigation and a Political Economy-based Prediction