An Economic Indicator: Yappy Hour and Other Doggy Treats

Dogs can tell us a lot…economically. San Francisco’s dog owners can select among 60 different dog treats and 4 birthday cake sizes at Le Marcel Dog Bakery. They can drop off a pet at one day care center that soon…

Gender Issues: Is Your Alma Mater Biased?

Reminiscing during our lunch together, a female friend who attended law school during the 1970s recalled a professor starting classes with, “Good morning, gentleman.” He also seemed to enjoy saying that the women in the class were sitting in the…

Demand and Supply: Chocolate Stories

Because the price of cocoa is soaring, we might soon be paying more for cookies. But first, a bit of history. A Chocolate Butter Drop Do Cookie crisis in 1930 is the reason we have chocolate chip cookies today. One…

Movie Concession Stands

Dear Alexa, My friends and I went to the movies last weekend, and at the end of the night I realized I paid more for my popcorn, soda and candy, than I did for my actual movie ticket! Why are…

Marginal Analysis: The Math of the Movies

During an interview at the Nantucket Film Festival last summer, film writer/director Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give) said she was having a tougher time getting scripts approved. It was apparent that she preferred the intuition of one eccentric movie mogul…

Innovation: More (or Fewer?) Sole Rights

A book that you write is your intellectual property. But what if you design the sole of a shoe? As econlife described last year: “The trademark of designer Christian Louboutin, his red soles are supposed to represent glamour, luxury and hidden…

Movie Economics

Having just seen and enjoyed Bernie, “a low-budget ‘labor of love’” with Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine, I started thinking about the economics of the movie business. It is tough to predict whether a movie will be a success. Everyone said that…

A Top Selling Artist

At a Christie’s auction, a painting of a candle by German artist Gerhard Richter sold for $16.5 million. A recent documentary on this 80-year-old artist shows him painting in his studio and attending gallery and museum exhibitions of his work. Neither the…

The Riskiest Movies

Because Bart the Bear was no ordinary bear, anytime he appeared in a movie, the cost could have been $250,000. Yes, Bart’s salary was pricey but the $250,000 was all about insurance. Most producers and movie studios require insurance. For stars,…

Barbecue Inflation (A Hot Topic?)

Shopping for your Memorial Day barbecue, you will pay close to 29% more than a year ago. According to the New York Post, not only is a gallon of gas up 44% in the NY area, but also, lettuce will…