Coase’s influence on economics, and Adam Smith’s influence on Coase

Understanding the economy as a dynamic, complex system relies on the foundational work of several economists, including Adam Smith (of course) and Ronald Coase. As Coase observed in his 1991 Nobel Prize address, What I have done is to show the importance for the working of the economic system of what may be termed the … More Coase’s influence on economics, and Adam Smith’s influence on Coase

Epistemology and synthetic market design: Examples from ecosystem services

Some of the most illuminating work in market design lately has been in payment for ecosystem services (PES). These projects provide examples of the continuing relevance of institutions to economic and policy outcomes, and the importance of Elinor Ostrom’s work on the diversity of governance institutions in common-pool resources; despite criticisms leveled at synthetic markets, … More Epistemology and synthetic market design: Examples from ecosystem services

EDF on Grid Modernization

Last week the Environmental Defense Fund released a new report on grid modernization, Grid Modernization: The Foundation for Climate Change Progress¬†(pdf). This short report provides a clear overview of how grid modernization enables a cleaner energy future, examining six areas where investment and regulatory policy should focus to make that happen. The focus of this … More EDF on Grid Modernization

Dynamic pricing is everywhere … even NPR

Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ, started their fall/winter pledge drive earlier this week. As usual, the station offers a range of “thank you” gifts, with different gifts for different donation amounts. Going beyond the ubiquitous tote bag and coffee mug, this year WBEZ offers a stylish black and red (good color combo when you … More Dynamic pricing is everywhere … even NPR

Complexity, Permissionless Innovation, and the English Dance

Recently on EconTalk Russ Roberts talked with Duke University’s Mike Munger about permissionless innovation. The discussion focused on Mike’s recent essay on permissionless innovation, in which he claimed that “permissionless innovation, a strong presumption in favor of allowing experimentation with new technologies and with new business platforms that use those technologies” is the most important, … More Complexity, Permissionless Innovation, and the English Dance

Energy literacy, innovation, and economic history: a recent talk

The Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) is a foundation that uses its grantmaking to “create a more energy-literate society that’s ready for the smart grid“. Working through local community organizations including educational and religious organizations, ISEIF provides grants to promote understanding of and use of markets and technology to promote behavior change in … More Energy literacy, innovation, and economic history: a recent talk

Illinois NextGrid, platform economics, and a new working paper

Recently the Illinois Commerce Commission kicked off its “utility of the future” initiative, called NextGrid. This 18-month stakeholder study will gather ideas to map out a strategic direction for electricity in Illinois. I spoke on a panel at the kickoff event that focused on platforms and transactive energy; here’s a summary of the panel from … More Illinois NextGrid, platform economics, and a new working paper