When We Don’t Need Traffic Lights

Having recently driven in Manhattan (NYC) and now on Nantucket (an island located 30 miles from the coast of Massachusetts), I’ve been pondering the difference a traffic light can make. In NYC, the traffic lights are constant signals from government.…

Ice Cream Economics

Whether it’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake or Salted Crack Caramel, your flavor is a part of the ice cream economics of an ultra-premium creamery.

Deciding If Walmart Can Do Eye Exams in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, voters will soon decide if eye care regulation should let retailers like Walmart and Costco give you eye exams and sell you eye glasses.

Why Bitcoin Is Not a Security

Asking if bitcoin is a security, a commodity, money, or property, we get a list of different answers that lead us to regulatory questions.

The Waze Wars That Locals Were Losing

With more drivers using Waze and other traffic apps to avoid rush hour delays, local neighborhoods have begun to resist the disruption.

How to Solve the Missing Chips Problem

Puffier than they need to be, misleading packages have been the subject of class action lawsuits by people who feel they were overcharged for their chips.

Six Ways to Make Government Better

One of many examples in Peter Schuck’s new book, the Social Security program shows how government can be successful and also why it “fails so often.”

Dilemmas From the “Sharing Economy”

Today’s story is specifically about Airbnb. More generally though, it involves whether government or the market system should regulate the “sharing economy.” But first–Craigslist and the Sharing Economy from xkcd: An apartment owner in Astoria, Queens (a subway ride from…

Should Government Have a Nudge Team?

Is society better off when people stop smoking? Return to work sooner after a layoff? Pay their taxes on time? Using “nudge theory,” the UK’s Nudge Unit says it can help policymakers help us to make better decisions. A part of…

Figuring Out Financial Regulation

Words cannot describe the 2300 pages of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a way, because it says so much, it tells us very little. Still though, after looking at the bill and several news summaries,…