Weekly Roundup: Matchmaking Mysteries to Garbage Privacy

Our everyday economics includes productivity, markets, prices, externalities, social norms, distribution, scarcity, environment, regulation, monetary union.

Airline Pricing Mysteries

Left to fluctuate freely, a price can tell us information about social norms, efficiency, technology, incentives, quality and supply and demand.

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.

The Difference That a Sticker Makes

Because “I Voted” stickers indicate voting is a social norm, like paying taxes or saving electricity, people are more likely to act like their neighbors.

Prius Purchases and Conspicuous Conservation

Our Wednesday Environment Focus Reporting that Prius was the top selling car in California, Bloomberg said the reason was tough emissions standards. I wonder… In a 2011 paper, economists Alison and Steven Sexton compared voting patterns and Prius ownership in Colorado and Washington…

Does It Matter That Men Boast?

Our Monday Gender Issue: Teaching at a girls’ school, I continually run into the problem of modesty. My women know the answers and yet go to the board saying they might not be right. Now, an academic study from researchers…

The Unintended Consequences of Free Shipping

I just read about an online shopper who ordered 10 pairs of pants from the Gap and then returned 7. Called a high frequency returner, that same consumer told a WSJ reporter that for Christmas, she buys coats and shoes…

Cost Benefit Analysis: Sending a “Thank You” Text Message

I never realized the cost of saying, “Thank you.” Assume for a moment that you receive a text that you appreciate. Should you reply with a thank you? One NY Times reporter suggests that your decision relates to texting etiquette. However,…

Behavioral Economics: The Best Gifts

A gift can be worth much more or less than its price tag. It just depends on whether you are the giver or the receiver. One of the best gifts I have ever gotten was a book of car wash…

A Fine That Backfired

Sometimes, deterrents won’t work. Our story begins at several Israeli day-care centers. Because some parents were picking up their children after dismissal time, two economists suggested a fine. To their surprise, the number of latecomers more than doubled after it…