Economic Ideas

Much more than money, economics is about tradeoffs. Thinking economically involves cost and benefit, marginal analysis and seeing that there is no free lunch. Econlife tries to convey these economic ideas, which serve as the foundation of economics and help people make decisions personally, professionally and as voters.

When Free Football Has a Cost

Experimenting with free football by not charging for tickets, a French and a German team changed the cost of a game.

A Surprising Rum Tax

When the U.S. Congress decided to give Puerto Rico some alcohol taxes from its rum exports, the results were unexpected.

How We Respond to Restaurant Psychology

More than we recognize, restaurant psychology creates incentives that determine our spending, our timing, and what we eat.

What Daniel Kahneman Could Have Said to Investors

Understanding our decision-making, psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s investing insights could prevent some expensive mistakes.

How Demand Can Determine What We Steal

Understanding why retailers have always had problems with razor thefts, we can look at why we demand so many.

Daniel Kahneman Stories

Among his many behavioral economics insights, these Daniel Kahneman stories illustrate some of the wisdom he conveyed.

How the World’s Happiest Countries Are Not Entirely Happy

A close look at how we identify the world’s happiest countries reveals that happiness ranks could be misleading.

The (Economic) Invasion of the Fire Ant

The economic side of Australia’s fire ant invasion includes accepting the massive eradication opportunity cost.

When Chocolate Is An Elasticity Story

All about the inadequate supply of cocoa beans, the price of chocolate has shot upward while consumer price elasticity expanded.

How Housing Markets Have Downsized

Recovering after the Great Recession, housing markets expanded until they had to shrink in an unexpected way.