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?
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
I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a new position at Carnegie Mellon University, as Visiting Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Co-Director of the Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics (IRLE), and Faculty Affiliate in the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, starting July 1. Founded in 2004 … More Job Change, and a Blogging Renaissance
The UK government started an energy digital smart meter rollout in 2008, an “… £11bn scheme to put 53m devices in 30m homes and small businesses by 2020” to yield an estimated gross benefit of £16.7bn. Calling the rollout a disaster would be generous — it’s behind schedule, about £1bn over budget, and full of technical … More The Uk Smart Meter Transition: Industry Structure, Market Power, and Interoperability
Maximilian Auffhammer explored the question, “How Local Should Your Energy Retailer Be?” at the Energy Institute at Haas blog. He said the issue had come up over lunch in the office. The distribution utility of the future is going to buy electrons in this reordered market (mostly renewables and some fossils) and sell them to its … More Should Your Electricity Distributor Also Be Your Electricity Retailer?
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
One of the challenges of electric power market design comes in the need to consider the consequences of design choices for both market outcomes and grid reliability. Strictly speaking, the two kinds of consequences are not neatly separable, as market choices affect system reliability and system reliability affects market outcomes. The interaction between the two … More Integrating Reliability-must-run Practices into Wholesale Electricity Markets
Lynne Kiesling and I have an article in the Fall 2017 Regulation magazine asserting “the need for electricity retail market reforms” (PDF). Our general theme is, as the subtitle puts it, “An innovative 21st century retail electric power market is within reach, but won’t emerge until we ditch 20th century regulations.” We begin: School budgets always seem tight, so … More The Need for Electricity Retail Market Reforms
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
Utah is doing just fine with monopoly electric service, says a state legislator who oversees the Utah Public Utilities Commission. The legislator, Carl Albrecht, was responding to an op-ed appearing in the Deseret News the week earlier by Ethan Dursteler and me in which we encouraged Utahns to consider retail electric competition. Albrecht is right … More Utahns Get Low-cost, Reliable Electric Power. What is Wrong with That?