Deciding If Wine Glass Size Matters

The size of a typical British wine glass has ballooned during the past 300 years. Close to 70 ml in 1700, now it is more than six times bigger. Where are we going? To glass, plate, and portion sizes. Wine…

The Surprising Tale of the Mexican Soda Tax

The surprising impact of the Mexican soda tax demonstrated that consumer and supplier responses can be unpredictable.

Problems With Sugary Drink Taxes

To avoid inelastic demand, a sugary drink tax would need to increase price substantially. Current taxes that average less than 5% have little impact.

Weekly Roundup: From Vodka to Tax Dodgers

Our weekly roundup includes stories from everyday economics that relate to creative destruction, taxation, price floors, labor markets and entitlements.

Where Do the Slimmest Americans Live?

Because obesity related diseases increase entitlement spending, should government use penalties rather than incentives to slim the US population?

New Soda War Battles

“It’s worth fighting for. . . . This is about our economy, it’s about jobs, it’s also about our traditions and our values.” The speaker was John Kerrey and the topic was the cranberry. Worried that sugary beverage limitations could move far…

Super Sized Sodas

Given a huge tub of stale popcorn, people eat it. In a 2005 study, when 158 Philadelphia moviegoers received either 14-day old or freshly popped popcorn in a huge tub or a medium size container, those with the big bucket…

Health Care Costs

Looking forward to your daily Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino, you see that the calorie count sign says 500 calories. Change your mind? Most studies indicate that knowing a calorie count has little if any impact on purchasing decisions. Then, you…

Is Obesity the Government’s Business?

To fight obesity, do you support government funded weight loss education? Soda taxes? Mandatory menu calorie counts? Banned bake sales? A recent Intelligence Squared debate provided several answers. The evening focused on the proposition,  “Obesity is the Government’s Business.”  Opposed were libertarian journalist John Stossel…

Health Insurance Dilemmas

Assume for a moment that you are slim, love broccoli and run 4 miles each day. Should your health insurance premium be lower than the amount paid by someone with an unhealthy lifestyle? Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and Safeway say, “Yes.” One…