The Unintended Consequences of Daylight Saving Time

We should cancel daylight saving time because studies show that the opportunity cost of energy use has changed since Ben Franklin suggested “early to rise.”

The Unexpected Consequences of More Efficient Lighting

Like 19th century English coal, more efficient and cheap LED lights can mean people and businesses use it more because of the lower opportunity cost.

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.

How to Defend or Oppose Thomas Piketty

Summarizing Thomas Piketty’s voluminous research in his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the NY Times said that looking back, we have overstated the beneficence of capitalism and looking forward, gross income inequality is our destiny unless policies radically change.…

The Unintended Consequences of Banning Ivory Sales

New US ivory regulations have had unintended consequences. During November 2013, the US government “pulverized” nearly 6 tons of elephant ivory from Asia and Africa. Intending to send a message to elephant poachers, the Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed ivory that…

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…

Unexpected Consequences From Fuel Economy

Hoping to cut costs at the pump and buy less foreign oil, President Obama said in his 2014 State of the Union address that medium and heavy duty vehicles would be the next target. A part of the CAFE mandate…

An Unexpected Connection Between Bluefin Tuna and CO2

On the first Saturday in 2013, in Japan, at the Tsukiji auction, a 489 pound bluefin tuna was sold for $1.76 million. As a source of information, what does $1.76 million say to you? One journalist said it could mean:…

It’s Not Easy Being Green

In our school parking lot, we have prime spaces that are reserved for employees who drive a hybrid or electric car. After reading Ed Glaeser’s new paper, “The Supply of Environmentalism,” I realized that bestowing these tangible benefits on green…

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…