Recently I spoke at the Surge Summit event of the Illinois Science & Engineering Innovation Foundation (ISEIF). ISEIF’s mission is customer education, awareness, and engagement as Illinois implements policies enabling a digital distribution grid and transactive energy. I am honored to serve as a peer reviewer on ISEIF’s Peer Review Committee. As a lead-up to … More Three little questions about behavioral energy economics and transactive energy
Michael Giberson Are price gouging laws applied fairly? This past week Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac lead to disaster declarations and the invocation of price gouging laws in several gulf states. Here are a few selected quotes from all four price-gouging related press releases issued last week by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood: August 28: “Attorney General … More Are ‘outsiders’ more likely to be accused of price gouging?
Michael Giberson One of the federal government’s first oil conservation ideas, initiated during the Ford presidency, was Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulation. Mostly the goal was to reduce U.S. consumption of oil as a way to reduce oil imports, though ancillary environmental benefits were also anticipated. Regulatory analysis of CAFE regulations over the near … More Federal government is trying to fix your car-buying mistakes
Lynne Kiesling Steve Horwitz has a great Freeman column today, inspired by reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. Steve starts by pointing out that the definition of “rational” is not uniform, which matters a great deal because of the theoretical, empirical, and policy implications one draws from the definition used: People act “irrationally,” in the sense … More Horwitz: Do free markets require “rational” actors?
Michael Giberson Last I checked, James Kwak had 147 comments on his blog post on price gouging and the corrupting influence of Econ 101. Other bloggers have jumped into the fray: Adam Ozimek at Modeled Behavior, the Undergraduate at Observations of a Naive Undergraduate, and David Beckworth at Macro and Other Market Musings. Quite a … More Price gouging, ethics, markets, and the corrupting influence of Econ 101
Michael Giberson The title above is a quote from Harold Margolis’s paper, “Are Economists Human?” HT Marginal Revolution. (I wonder if Tyler Cowen laughed when he read it?)
Lynne Kiesling I’ve been meaning to write about the libertarian paternalism series at Cato Unbound for a week or so, but have been too busy to pull it off. Happily, Ilya Somin has a good post that touches on a couple of the themes I wanted to raise (and I second his recommendation to read … More Libertarian paternalism series at Cato Unbound
Lynne Kiesling In this really outstanding post on FT.com’s Economists Forum, Roman Freedman and Michael Goldberg point out some of the essential flaws of the underlying concept of “rationality” as it is defined and used in economics: The centrepiece of this standard of rationality, the so-called “Rational Expectations Hypothesis”, presumes that economists can model exactly … More Deductive economic rationality and its limitations
Lynne Kiesling A recent essay from legal scholars Todd Zywicki and Josh Wright analyzes the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and over at Volokh, Ilya Somin adds to their analysis based on his own research. Both pieces are founded on an important core idea — paternalistic regulation that is grounded in the desire to mitigate … More Paternalistic regulation and the knowledge problem