Explaining Why Doctors’ Waiting Rooms Have Old Magazines

While the BMJ has some fun with a study of disappearing waiting room magazines, an economist could use the tragedy of the commons to explain why.

Choosing Between Male and Female Bosses

Resulting in gender job discrimination and talent underutilization, past practice shapes future preference when choosing men as bosses and athletic coaches.

Our Weekly Roundup: From Bank Regulation to Water Taxation

This week’s everyday economics stories included minimum wage, price floors, cost-benefit analysis, behavioral economics, financial regulation and public goods.

A Rarely Mentioned Cause of China’s Air Pollution

Because we tend to abuse and overuse publicly shared resources, the result is a tragedy of the commons that includes China’s air pollution.

How Can You Add Value to Your Free Parking Space?

NYC has lots of cheap parking spaces. The result? I (and many like me) have circled blocks, added to greenhouse gases, used precious hours and exacerbated congestion, all to find an empty muni-meter or free spot. As UCLA Professor Donald Shoup has said through…

Opportunity Cost & The Meat Eater's Dilemma

Our Wednesday environment focus: Are you a meat avoider, eater or reducer? On a scale of meat consumption, we can place the avoiders at one end, the eaters at the other, and the reducers in the middle because they are meatless for at least one day each week. Where…

The Beeps in Our Lives

Our Wednesday Environment Focus We have intentionally created some of the sounds that our technology makes. Take the beep… You know that beep..beep..beep sound of a truck in reverse. It all began during the 1960s in Boise, Idaho when Ed Peterson, an auto parts…

The Unexpected Impact of Changing Times

Beyond less sleep, when we moved our clocks ahead last night, we created many unintended consequences. It all began during the 1880s when the railroads said that they should coordinate time. With railroad companies observing 52 different times and even…

1930s Noise Pollution

In 1932, the NYC Noise Abatement Commission received a letter from Mr. N. Schmuck of 137 Milton Street in Brooklyn about the noise from a nearby pickle factory. Other 1930s noise complaints included early morning ice deliveries, “ear splitting shrieks…

In West Virginia, Is Price Gouging a Problem or a Solution?

West Virginia’s Attorney General says it’s illegal and “just plain wrong” to inflate the price of water in times of emergency. In addition, he suggests that people keep an eye on what vendors charge for items like hand sanitizer and…