Why a New Year’s Resolution Needs a Staircase

Pondering how to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we can look at the staircase in a Seattle office building.

How Chargers and Railroad Tracks are Similar

If the European Union mandates common charger standardization, consumers might applaud but Apple says there is a hidden downside.

How Eating Less Popcorn Is Like Smoking Fewer Cigarettes

Thinking about changing habits that are good and bad, we can look at what researchers discovered during a popcorn experiment.

How a Common Application Affected College Admissions

At highly selective schools, 2019 college admission rates were pretty low: Harvard: 4.5% Yale: 5.91% Stanford: 4.3% in 2018 (They are no longer releasing the number.) But we are looking at a tiny proportion of the higher education population. At…

What Happens When 1-Click Meets a Barcode?

It’s almost like 1-click and the barcode had a child. 1-click diminished the friction of an online purchase. Described in The Everything Store, it let Jeff Bezos increase revenue by making the purchase process easier. And, once Bezos got his…

Friction Free Clicks

Which friction minimizing invention received a patent in 1999? Amazon 1-Click. Described by Amazon in their application for patent 5,960,411, the purchaser just hits a button that activates the movement of payment information from “the client system” to the”server system.”…

A New Way to See Friction

Thinking about friction, most people picture 2 surfaces rubbing together. As economists, we should instead think of the Nobel Prize. Friction is one reason that Dale Mortensen won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics. Discussing unemployment, Dr. Mortensen says that…