How We Spend Our Money

By looking at one hundred years of consumer spending history, we can see how our food, housing, and clothing reflected our growing affluence.

Less Recognized Reasons For the Gender Pay Gap

By focusing on social norms that determine the division of labor at home and traditional workplace incentives, we can narrow the gender pay gap.

The Surprising Lessons From Economic Crises

For all economic crises, some economists tell us, “This time it’s different,” while others disagree with their new solutions.

When the Power of the Market Affects Commodity Prices

The results of the bet between biologist Paul Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon showed how the power of the market affects commodity prices.

What Fake Tusks Tell Us About Real Ivory

Because of the price incentives that the market creates for the African ivory trade supply chain, elephant tusks move from the bush to the coast and beyond.

The One Question They Should Have Asked Janet Yellen

This bingo card was tweeted by Quartz just before Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen spoke to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. It reminded me that Monetary Policy is not what it used to be. For years, teaching…

A Mixed Economy: Ownership Incentives

Thinking about our mixed economy in which government and the market intermingle, I have always gravitated to this quote from former Secretary of the Treasury, Lawrence Summers: “In the history of the world, nobody has ever washed a rented car.”…

Car Rentals and Cuban Houses

Have you ever washed a rented car? Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers tells us that, “In the history of the world,” no one has. For rental cars and Cuban houses, lack of ownership is the common denominator. When Fidel Castro…

Replacing Broken Windows

During a CNBC interview, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said that Japan’s massive earthquake “…may lead to some temporary increments, ironically, to GDP, as a process of rebuilding takes place.” Commenting on the interview, the WSJ reminds us that 19th…