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

Frank Knight’s footnote on wise social policy

Footnote 16 in Frank Knight’s article, “Cost of production and price over long and short periods,” concluded with a sentence that ought likely to be added at the end of every expert’s policy proposal: Of course this does not mean that they should be required to change quickly to such a basis from the present… More Frank Knight’s footnote on wise social policy

The Economist on adverse selection and moral hazard

The Economist is running a series on classic articles that have transformed economics, starting with George Akerlof’s 1970 “Market for Lemons” paper. Akerlof catalyzed the field of information economics by pointing out possible consequences of asymmetric information in the case where one party to a transaction has more complete information about product quality than the… More The Economist on adverse selection and moral hazard

Pencil or peach, either way, a marvel of decentralized coordination

Many of you are probably already familiar with Leonard Read’s famous 1958 story I, Pencil. Told through the eyes of a pencil, it describes the process of producing a pencil and how many people are involved in doing so, but without ever having met or consciously, deliberately set out a plan under the control of… More Pencil or peach, either way, a marvel of decentralized coordination

My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering

Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both ┬ádesign and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity… More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering