The Unintended Consequences of Free Shipping

I just read about an online shopper who ordered 10 pairs of pants from the Gap and then returned 7. Called a high frequency returner, that same consumer told a WSJ reporter that for Christmas, she buys coats and shoes…

Would You Keep Your Plow or Switch to No-Till?

Our story starts during the early 19th century with some unplantable sticky thick sod in the US Midwest. Trying to solve the problem, John Deere, a local blacksmith, developed a steel moldboard plow that could break up the sod, weeds and…

Does the World Series Give St. Louis an Economic Boost?

2 years ago, business at St. Louis’s Big Daddy’s tavern spiked during the Cardinals/Brewers playoff game and squirrel shirts were selling like hotcakes. Add hot dog and beer sales, parking revenue, gate receipts to the team, and out-of-towners’ spending and…

Cost and Benefit: Is the Air Ever Too Clean?

Implying that we cannot put a price on environmental responsibility, Maine’s Senator Edmund Muskie (1914-1996) once said, “Can we afford clean water? Can we afford rivers and lakes…which continue to make life possible…?…These questions answer themselves.” A recent article in the…

Behavioral Economics: Your Language Might Influence Your Savings

While in English we say, “It will rain tomorrow,” someone speaking in German states, “It rains tomorrow.” According to UCLA economist Keith Chen, because their language makes the future feel closer, Germans deal with it more responsibly. I know, it sounds farfetched.…

Green Blog: From Evolution to Economics

By Amy Tourgee, guest blogger, Kent Place School alumna and Environmental Studies undergraduate at Princeton University When I was a freshman in college, I was a little bit lost in trying to figure out what I wanted to study for…

Marginal Analysis: How Much to Tip?

On Wednesday, I entered a cab on 55th Street near 5th Ave. in NYC. Although I was going to 30th St., the driver proceeded west and then north because it was illegal to make a left onto 5th and head…

Tipping Points

When tipping, we all have a tipping point.  It might sound reasonable to leave a dollar tip.  But, if a Tall Vanilla Latte costs $3.37, is a thirty percent tip too much?  Yes, says one NY Times blogger. On the…

Is Law School A Good Investment?

Looking at a paper by law school professor Herwig Schlunk reminded me that attending law school is similar to inventing a new machine. Both require an initial investment, both take several years to complete, and both will generate a private…

Is More Security Too Expensive?

Great cost benefit analysis in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. How do we decide whether the cost of intensified airport security is worth the benefit? 1. The TSA says that one life saved is worth $3 million spent. That means, though,…