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Data proves July is the best month to buy apparel online!

Austan Goolsbee and Peter Klenow compared overall inflation (red line) with inflation for goods that are sold online. They controlled for the fact that many goods like housing and fresh produce cannot be easily delivered by online vendors by matching

Posted in Managerial Micro

Why doesn’t Amazon police their own product reviews? Market failures in everything.

About a decade ago I started seeing a lot of fake product reviews on They used to be easy to spot because sometimes a bunch of reviews in a row would have almost exactly the same comments. Or sometimes

Posted in Managerial Micro

Market failures in everything: Book publishing

Markets are only efficient when they are close to perfect competition, and if they are efficient there should not be shortages and surpluses.  However, there are persistently large surpluses and shortages in the book publishing industry.  There is a particularly

Posted in Managerial Micro, Public Finance

Is it dangerous for a business to follow a moral philosophy other than maximize profit¿

Mark Zuckerberg wrote a  6,000-word manifesto on the history of humanity and how Facebook will shape humanity’s future. Zuckerberg’s manifesto has been subjected to a large backlash among the intelligentsia of the internet, and although it has problems, I’m glad he

Posted in Managerial Micro, Public Finance

We Pencils

Introduction: This essay is guest authored by a group of pencils.  Yes, we are a bunch of ordinary writing instruments.  Even though any one of us is very dumb, even a group of idiots can produce something much greater than the

Posted in Globalization, Managerial Micro, Public Finance

Marc Andreessen wants to put teachers out of work but he doesn’t know what he is talking about

Vox posted a series of interviews with Marc Andreessen in which the billionaire co-founder of Netscape seems to feel that most of the economy outside of silicon valley is simply backwards. …you have the sectors in which prices are rapidly

Posted in Managerial Micro

Did we reach peak market circa year 2000?

For centuries, markets have been expanding into ever greater spheres of human life and displacing non-market human interaction. This has been an exciting time for economists because economists mostly just study markets.  This has led economists to neglect major spheres of

Posted in Development, Globalization, Managerial Micro

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