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?

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