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
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
Research on differences between decisions made in a person’s native tongue and decisions made in a second language reminded me of an unexplored idea in the social dynamics surrounding price gouging. I’ve devoted a few posts to the question of whether or not price gouging laws get applied in a discriminatory fashion against “outsiders,” primarily… More Price gouging in a second language
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
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
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?
Popular Mechanics magazine headlined an article with the question, “One year after Superstorm Sandy, has anything changed?” Well, sure: over the last year the state governments in New York and New Jersey have put a lot of time and money into punishing a few businesses that provided shelter and gasoline to people whose lives were… More One year after Superstorm Sandy: Charities, price gougers and the state