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?

One year after Superstorm Sandy: Charities, price gougers and the state

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

Anti-price gouging laws can increase economic welfare

An article by Robert Fleck of Clemson, forthcoming in the International Review of Law and Economics, presented a theoretical case that price gouging restrictions can be value-enhancing under certain conditions. I was skeptical, but Fleck is careful in building his case. The key qualifier above is under certain conditions. In “Can Prohibitions on ‘Price Gouging’ … More Anti-price gouging laws can increase economic welfare

Colorado merchants have pricing freedom

Flooding in Colorado has caused damage across nearly 2,000 square miles of the state. While many businesses are chipping in to help people affected, some people are concerned that lack of a state anti-price gouging law leaves consumers exposed to unjust price increases. A Denver Post story begins: Flood-ravaged Colorado is one of only 15 … More Colorado merchants have pricing freedom

Legalize sustainable pricing to promote recovery from disasters

Michael Giberson “Price gouging” is by intent a pejorative term. Nobody wants to get gouged, by a price or in any other manner. Analysts advocating or defending price flexibility for key goods and services in disaster struck areas are burdened from the beginning by the derogatory term. In an editorial essay advocating for post-flooding pricing … More Legalize sustainable pricing to promote recovery from disasters

Price gouging defined: Looking for family resemblences

Michael Giberson A range of recent news stories report on price gouging, but the wide variety of cases in which the term “price gouging” gets invoked raises the question of what actually is price gouging. About all that these cases have in common is a price for a good higher than some other price used … More Price gouging defined: Looking for family resemblences

Fox Business: Preventing Price Gouging of Storm Victims

Michael Giberson Last week a show on Fox Business News ran a segment titled, “Preventing Price Gouging of Storm Victims.” Spoiler: Show host Gerri Willis and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi chat about price gouging, but nothing much about “preventing price gouging” except that if you do it in Florida, the state “will be coming … More Fox Business: Preventing Price Gouging of Storm Victims