Gender Pricing: When Do Women Pay More Than Men?

NYC fined the owner of Freckle Skin and Hair for charging men less than women for haircuts. “It’s ridiculous, I have some guys who need to come in every two weeks. If I raise my prices, I’ll lose all my…

Debating Paid Sick Leave Laws

I wonder if we could say that Mayor de Blasio’s sick leave proposal dates back to 1895.  119 years ago, concerned with the harm that a “biscuit, bread, cake bakery or confectionery establishment” could inflict on its employees, New York…

Demand and Supply: How To Make Money Out of Thin Air

Decades ago, if you had offered to sell some water to someone, she would have questioned your sanity. After all, water was free. But then, Poland Spring came along, Perrier become more popular, and the rest is history. If water…

Negative Externalities: Guaranteed Parking

When we have guaranteed parking, we tend to drive more. Comparing the driving habits of residents living in 2 NYC communities, transportation researchers concluded that 31 percent more Jackson Heights, Queens residents drive to work than car owners who live in Park…

Incentives: Environmental Surprises

Talking to a group of us in Nantucket last night, New Yorker writer David Owen referred to the environmentally friendly community where he first lived after college. His home was a 750 square foot dwelling, so close to his neighbors…

Municipal Finance: Technological Innovation

Do cities need more “big data?” NYC’s sewer story provides an answer. NYC had a clogged sewer problem. To solve it, officials had to find the restaurants that were pouring grease down their drains. Because the city’s Office of Policy…

Do You Like Rent Control?

Asked if it makes sense to mandate lower rents for some apartments in large cities, many of us say yes. Lower rents facilitate diversity and they enable middle income municipal workers to live close to home. Affordability is good. Yes?…

Micro-Apartments

An iPad turns on the lights, the shower is a futuristic sounding vertical tube near the door and the bed becomes seating.  Occupying 161 square feet, this Dongguan, China micro-apartment is the size of a US mall parking space. But, at $133 a square…

A Weather Dilemma for NYC

In NYC, the last time that the East River touched the Hudson River (see below) was on September 3, 1821 when a hurricane struck directly and the tide rose 13 feet in one hour. Should the city plan for it…

More Soda Wars

If you lived in Richmond, California, would you vote yes or no for their proposed soda tax? The tax is unusual because it does not charge people at the register. Instead, retailers would have to pay a license fee that…