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

DOT’s airline price gouging investigation and a political economy-based prediction

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it had launched an investigation into possible “unfair practices (e.g., price gouging) affecting air travel during the period of time that Amtrak service along the Northeast Corridor was delayed or suspended as a result of the May 12th derailment.” Five airlines received letters from the agency seeking… More DOT’s airline price gouging investigation and a political economy-based prediction

You should probably raise prices a bit during emergencies

At the Master Resource blog today: “In Defense of Price ‘Gouging’ (lines and shortages are uneconomic, discriminatory).” In the essay I emphasize the unintended bias that results when consumer demand surges and supplies are tight, as for example when winter storm forecasts lead consumers to rush to the grocery store for bread and milk. Because… More You should probably raise prices a bit during emergencies

New York Attorney General grapples to regulate new web-based businesses in old ways

The New York Attorney General (AG) had an op-ed in the New York Times presenting a curious mix of resistance to change, insistence on regulating new things in old way, acknowledgement that web-based businesses create some value and regulators can’t always enforce rules intelligently, and sprinkled now and again with the barely disguised threat that regulators will not… More New York Attorney General grapples to regulate new web-based businesses in old ways

Price gouging-moral insights from economics

Dwight Lee in the current issue of Regulation magazine offers “The Two Moralities of Outlawing Price Gouging.” In the article Lee endorsed economists’ traditional arguments against laws prohibiting price gouging, but argued efficiency claims aren’t persuasive to most people as they fail to address the moral issues raised surrounding treatment of victims of disasters. Lee wrote, “Economists’ best hope… More Price gouging-moral insights from economics

Discrimination in West Virginia price gouging case?

Are West Virginia “outsiders” more likely to be accused of price gouging? From the March 8, 2014, Charleston Gazette, “Morrisey accused of discrimination in price gouging response“: CHARLESTON, W.Va. –A Putnam County storeowner accused of price gouging bottled water during the water crisis says Attorney General Patrick Morrisey discriminated against him because he is Lebanese,… More Discrimination in West Virginia price gouging case?