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

Unfair prices for holiday air travel in India? Any lasting effects?

Michael Giberson Leigh Caldwell, at Knowing and Making, notes concerns raised by representatives of India’s government about unfair airline prices during the festival of Diwali.  Caldwell mostly ignore the government’s chatter about unfair prices, but wonders how consumer reactions may influence company pricing decisions over time.  I think he offers interesting speculations, but I think … More Unfair prices for holiday air travel in India? Any lasting effects?

The fictional (and extremely unhealthy!) Big Rock Candy Mountain

Michael Giberson From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Kids Pages, an earnest warning – accompanying the lyrics to the song Big Rock Candy Mountain – not to be lead astray by the wild (and extremely unhealthy!) images conjured up by the songwriter Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock: IMPORTANT REMINDERS ABOUT THE LYRICS: Mr. McClintock’s song … More The fictional (and extremely unhealthy!) Big Rock Candy Mountain

Where water management meets electricity consumption, and other notes from New Orleans

Michael Giberson Phil Carson reports a few parting thoughts from last week’s IEEE Power and Energy Society’s Transmission and Distribution Conference in New Orleans.  One of those thoughts centered on the last-mile link up of communications and energy systems: Marty Travers, president for telecommunications at Black & Veatch, reminded me that the “telecom” piece at … More Where water management meets electricity consumption, and other notes from New Orleans

Shane Greenstein on remote connectivity

Lynne Kiesling My colleague Shane Greenstein does very interesting work on industrial organization and networks in Internet-related industries. These insights also bubble up when he is reflecting on his personal experience in his recent family holiday travels, as related on his blog. Here he relates what they found on their recent travels to northern Wyoming, … More Shane Greenstein on remote connectivity

PSA: Bad customer service from Budget car rental

Lynne Kiesling We interrupt our regular discussion of economics for a public service announcement: I’ve been having a horrendous customer service experience with Budget car rental. Briefly, the re-routing of my flight to Collegiate Triathlon Nationals, due to inclement weather in Dallas, meant that I had to re-reserve the rental car, and the Expedia agent … More PSA: Bad customer service from Budget car rental