Weekly Roundup: From Airline Seats to Earthquakes

Our weekly roundup includes everyday economics that relate to opportunity cost, corporate taxation, GDP, monopolistic competition & negative externalities.

Do You Prefer McDonald's or Starbucks?

Shaped by monopolistic competition, the behavior of McDonald’s and Starbucks attracts different groups of consumers.

Our Weekly Roundup: From Milk to Tobacco

Our weekly roundup includes the everyday economics of consumer surplus, monopolistic competition, economic development, poverty and technology spillover.

Why is the Milk at the Back of the Store?

Because market structure shapes a firm’s behavior, a supermarket’s product placement relates to the monopolistic competition that characterizes its market.

A Cranberry Blog

Yesterday morning, during my “rantum scoot” around a Nantucket cranberry bog, our group leader unknowingly presented a supply and demand story. This is the bog: Starting with some history, he said the island of Nantucket was ideally suited to growing cranberries because it…

Why We Should Look More Closely At the Size of Our Soda

The 6-ounce bottle of Coke was the king of soda when an upstart company called Pepsi-Cola sold a 12-ounce bottle for the same price. The year was 1934 and the price was 5 cents. Pepsi’s competitive strategy has been called brilliant because its biggest costs were advertising, bottling…

The Regulations that Food Truck Chefs Hate

In Chef, recently fired upscale restaurant chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) has no job offers, a viral video to cope with, and a life that is spiraling south. I won’t divulge the ending but the movie was about a food truck, the…

Using Economics To Deal With Restaurant No-Shows

At one of my favorite restaurants in Nantucket, you can call at any time during the summer to get a 6:00 reservation. But if you want to eat at 7:30 or 9:00, you have to line up outside on that…

What do Polish Pretzels, Parmesan Cheese, and Champagne Have in Common?

Polish pretzels sound delicious. Called “obwarzanek,” they are round, have a hole in the middle, are boiled, then baked, and can be sesame, poppy, salt or cheese. Although they resemble a bagel, there is one big difference. They have an…

How Firms Compete With Hidden Messages

Have you noticed the arrow in FedEx’s logo? Especially because, in class, we have been looking at how oligopolies compete, I appreciated what this BusinessInsider slideshow said about their logos: A competitive market structure shapes business behavior. For oligopolies, that…