The Downside of Gift Giving

During the holiday season, our gift giving might have less value than we expect because recipients engage in preference falsification.

When a Carbon Tax Proposal Is Like Goldilocks

In his new book, climate activist Bjorn Lomborg presents a controversial carbon tax proposal that could remind us of Goldilocks.

When To Ignore Your Email

Tempted by thousands of hours of digital distractions, at home and at work, we diminish our creativity, our productivity, and our self-satisfaction.

Social Media’s Hidden Cost

While we all know when we are wasting time on social media, it is tougher to uncover the hidden cost that is paid by the entire economy.

Weekly Roundup: From Blockbuster Movies to Student Debt

This week’s economic news summary includes the transactions costs of new medical diagnostic codes, the personal and macro impact of the student loan crisis.

Government Nudge Squad Questions

A government Nudge Squad that compensates for our irrational behavior is dealing with policy makers with the same behavioral economics irrationalities.

The Benefits of “Pay-It-Forward”

Perhaps a pay-it-forward record, at a Connecticut Starbucks, more than 1,000 people each paid for the person behind them during December 2013. The store manager was on to something when he said, “”We hope that it will continue on, even…

Church Bell Economics

Irritated that church bells had been awakening them before 7 a.m., in 1879 a group of New Yorkers complained to the city Board of Health. They said the chimes violated Section 177 of the Sanitary Code and  endangered their health.…

Government Failure or Market Failure?

The illness? High unemployment and sluggish growth. The patient? The U.S. economy. And sometimes, according to Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, a stimulus pill just won’t work. In a WSJ opinion piece, Dr. Becker first explains that government misdiagnosed the illness.…

A Rule About Gold

Yes, gold is a part of Dodd-Frank financial regulation but not exactly the way you would expect. Dodd-Frank says that businesses have to tell the SEC if the gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten (the 3 Ts) in their supply chain…