The Covid-19 Test That Does More With Less

Because of productivity gains from Covid-19 pool testing, the Michigan State University’s 67,000 students can return to school more safely.

Throwback Thursday: What a Kitchen Says About Us

#TBT: Looking at kitchen history on this Throwback Thursday, we can decide what a new kitchen from the 1920s says about us.

Deciding If Your Digital Assistant Is Unethical

Creating a long list of ethical dilemmas, Google’s Duplex is a digital assistant that sounds just like a human when scheduling appointments.

The Choices That Elevators Make

Assume that you are on the seventh floor waiting for one of three elevators. Car 1 can arrive in 15 seconds but the total wait time will be 25 seconds because it has a stop on the eighth floor. Closer, Car 2 is 10 seconds…

How to Find Your Match

Creating more efficient markets, matching algorithms facilitate supply and demand when transactions do not involve money.

The Connection Between a Killer Plant and Elmer’s Glue

An innovation being sold to manufacturers, jars with slippery interior surfaces will create positive externalities by lessening waste and saving time.

Starbucks Drive-Through Economics

My new Starbucks has a drive-through. If you look at a high shelf near the window through which the baristas hand the coffee and food to drivers, you see a screen with little cars and numbers. Changing from green to yellow…

Cheesecake Medicine?

Could Cheesecake Factory help us fix our healthcare system? Touring the kitchen of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, you would see arrival, refrigeration and storage areas, and cutting, mixing, chopping and combining zones. Preparing the 308 dinner choices that their menu…

Election Economics: Assessing Outsourcing

Until November 6, at econlife, Mondays will be about presidential election economics. In 2004, when President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, was lambasted for saying, “… I think outsourcing is a growing phenomenon, but it’s something…

Your Airfare and Airline Profits

What does your airline ticket pay for? In order of size, these represent the expenses for a US Airways flight according to WSJ journalist Scott McCartney: Fuel (close to 30%) Salaries (maybe 20%) Buying and leasing planes (16%) Federal taxes (14%)…