When Pay-What-You-Want Does Not Quite Work Out

Unexpectedly, Panera’s pay-what-you-want cafes couldn’t bring together the normal lunch crowd and people who could not afford a meal.

Weekly Roundup: From Income Inequality to Parental Leave

Our weekly roundup includes a look at parental leave plans and fuel conservation, an ethanol update and how corn markets can surprise us.

Weekly Roundup: From Slow Mommy Tracks to Fast Wall Street Traders

Our weekly economics news summary included the yuan and foreign exchange, Google and branding, parental leave and incentives, and choosing your own price.

Video Game Economics

Sometimes a virtual world can show us some economic reality. Here is the story: There once was a Greek economist who, for many years, happily wrote papers and taught classes, in (he said) his “academic cocoon.” However, as the euro-zone…

Election Economics: Obama’s Keynesian Message

Comparing Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan economics, people name John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich von Hayek. Having looked at Hayek several weeks ago, let’s turn to Keynes now. During 1934, with unemployment high and production low, British economist John Maynard Keynes was…

Election Economics: Meeting Paul Ryan’s Economic Muse

People tend to ask, “Who??” when Friedrich von Hayek is named as Paul Ryan’s economic muse. Our purpose right now is to get to know some Hayek basics to see what Ryan brings to the Romney/Ryan candidacy. Austrian born, a…

Venezuela’s Price Controls

Reading that a Venezuelan retiree did not mind the food lines, I started thinking about how President Chavez’s price controls have changed incentives. The retiree, who has more time than money, now has the incentive to stand in line. Meanwhile,…

The Riskiest Movies

Because Bart the Bear was no ordinary bear, anytime he appeared in a movie, the cost could have been $250,000. Yes, Bart’s salary was pricey but the $250,000 was all about insurance. Most producers and movie studios require insurance. For stars,…

Movie Tickets

Should you pay more to see a blockbuster film during the Christmas holidays when movie going peaks? Less for an obscure foreign film? More on Saturday and at 7 pm? Less on Tuesday and 11 am? The issue is variable…

Moneyball Economics

A wonderful baseball movie, Moneyball is also about economics. The story focuses on the Oakland Athletics, a second-tier baseball team with a small budget. A speedy runner? A homerun hitter? The stars cost many millions that Oakland just did not…