Lobster Economics

The year is 2008. Icelandic banks crash. Canadian lobster processors lose their financing. The result? Demand from Canadian processors for Maine’s lobster harvest decreases. Meanwhile, on the supply side, the lobster population is soaring. Conservation rules that established maximum and minimum…

Why Do Gas Prices Rise Quickly and Fall Slowly?

At your local gas station, you might be seeing some sticky prices. Although barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent Crude have steadily gotten cheaper, the price at the pump has had a less steep downward trajectory. One economic study…

Manufacturing and the Market System

Adam Smith might look at recent increases in manufacturing and say, “The market works.” Here are some stories. One furniture manufacturer decided it could make consumers happier by moving back from China. Yes, it would mean paying a sander $10…

Should Supreme Court Justices Know Economics?

Just some thoughts today about economics and the Supreme Court. Listening to Tuesday’s oral arguments,  I became concerned about some economic basics. Markets and insurance were key ideas. However, no one defined a market and insurance was initially mischaracterized. In…

The Norwegian Butter Crisis

Reserves were low, demand was high and prices skyrocketed. No, not oil. Butter. Butter demand surged in Norway several months ago when a low carb high fat diet swept the nation. At the same time, the supply of butter plunged…

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…

Our Shopping Habits

Our story starts during the 1990s. When Procter & Gamble (P&G) first advertised Febreze as a room deodorizer, they thought it would be an instant success. However, the households that most needed it did not respond and sales were tepid.…

Pricey Pigeons

At the Paradise Pigeon auction in Belgium, a Dutch breeder sold a female pigeon to a Chinese shipbuilder for $328,000. Purchased to breed rather than race, Dolce Vita (the bird) will enable Hu Zhen Yu, also the owner of a…

Super Bowl Economics

The least expensive Super Bowl weekend in Indianapolis might cost close to $6248. That means you purchased a “nosebleed” seat for $2100 from StubHub, your coach airfare from NY or Boston was $1379 instead of the usual $400, and you…

Movie Tickets

Should you pay more to see a blockbuster film during the Christmas holidays when movie going peaks? Less for an obscure foreign film? More on Saturday and at 7 pm? Less on Tuesday and 11 am? The issue is variable…