From June 1, 2000 to June 27, 2007 I wrote a monthly Economic
Scene column for the New York Times.
- An iPod Has Global Value. Ask the (Many) Countries That Make It, June 28, 2007
- Who makes the Apple iPod? Hint: It is not
Apple. [ Norwegian
translation of this page provided
by Globe Views]
- Copyrights That No One Knows About Don't Help Anyone, May 31, 2007
- On the "orphan works" problem.
- Sometimes the Stock Does Better Than the Investor That Buys the Stock, May 5, 2007
- Dollar-weighted returns tell a different story than buy-and-hold returns.
- Why that Hoodie Your Son Wears Isn't Trademarked, April 5, 2007
- How the fashion industry survives without intellectual property protection.
- The Future of Leisure That Never Arrived, March 8, 2007
- How has the amount of leisure time changed in the last 100 years?
- Kaizen, That Continuous Improvement Strategy, Finds Its Ideal Environment, February 8, 2007
- Continuous improvement is easier on the web than in the physical world.
- Why Crazy Eddie Wouldn't Be Undersold, and Other Economic Mysteries, January 11, 2007
- Are low-price guarantees pro-competitive or anti-competitive?
- Recalculating the Costs of Global Climate Change, December 14, 2006
- How should we trade off the welfare of future and present generations?
- Beyond Insurance: Weighing the Benefits of Driving vs. the Total Costs of Driving, November 16, 2006
- The expected cost of another car on the road is surprisingly high.
- Why Old Media and Tom Cruise Should Worry About Cheaper Technology, October 19, 2006
- The economic theory of rent, developed in the early 1800s, explains some of the economics of "new media".
- Many Theories on Income Inequality, but One Answer Lies in Just a Few Places, September 21, 2006
- Much of the geographic increase in income inequality in the late
nineties is due to just a handful of counties. [graphic]
- The Rapidly Changing Signs at the Gas Station Show Markets at Work, August 24, 2006
- The recent gyrations in oil prices offer a textbook illustration of how financial markets and commodity markets interact.
- The Global Interest Rate Dance, With Bernanke Leading, July 27, 2006
- The most exciting global spectator sport now is watching Ben S. Bernanke: Will he raise interest rates in August or not?
- Looking for the Incentives That Will Prompt Americans to Save More, June 29, 2006
- Offering to match contributions to an IRA shows promise.
- Advertising Commodities Can Be Tricky, but It Does Pay Off , June 1, 2006
- Dancing raisins sell, but it's hard to keep the growers in line.
- Red States, Blue States: New Labels for Long-Running Differences, May 4, 2006
- Geographic differences in political attitudes are nothing new.
- Beauty and the Fattened Wallet, April 6, 2006
- Beautiful people are paid more, but why?
- The Difference Between Men and Women, Revisited: It's About Competition, March 9, 2006
- Men and women differ in attitudes about competition and compensation.
- A Plug for the Unplugged $100 Laptop Computer for Developing Nations, February 9, 2006
- Cellphones or laptops for developing countries? Maybe both.
- American Companies Show an Edge in Putting Information to Work, January 11, 2006
- Why has productivity growth been higher in the US than the UK?
- What Can We Learn From How a Manager Invests His Own Money?, December 15, 2005
- Do insider sales indicate bad prospects or prudent investment behavior?
- An Opportunity to Consider if Homeowners Get Too Many Breaks, November 17, 2005
- Should mortgage interest be tax deductible?
- Is Affordable Housing Becoming an Oxymoron?, October 21, 2005
- What is the cause of high home prices and what can be done about it?
- Tenure, Turnover and the Quality of Teaching, September 22, 2005
- Teacher quality depends critically on teacher turnover, but it is
not clear why.
- Technology Levels the Business Playing Field, August 25, 2005
- Information technology allows start-ups access to global labor markets.
- Reading Between the Lines of Used Book Sales, July 28, 2005
- How much do used book sales cannibalize new book sales?
- Online Dating? Thin and Rich Works Here, To, June 30, 2005
- What are people looking for and do they find it?
- Putting a White House Annual Report to a Test, June 2, 2005
- Does the Economic Report of the President accurately reflect the consensus views of the profession.
- What Should a Reconfigured Tax System Look Like?, May 5, 2005
- How should the tax system be reformed? [Figure showing marginal tax rates]
- File-Sharing Is the Latest Battleground in the Clash of Technology and Copyright, April 6, 2005
- Piano rolls, VCRs and file sharing have been at issue.
- Five Years After Nasdaq Hit Its Peak, Some Lessons Learned, March 10, 2005
- Financial economists are trying to find out how stock prices were pushed to such irrational and unsustainable levels during the dot-com bubble. [Graphic: Peaks and Valleys]
- Two Issues Face Social Security, and Applying One Answer to Both Is Risky, February 9, 2005
- Balancing the Social Security budget and introducing private accounts are two distinct issues.
- The Dynamics of Pricing Tickets for Broadway Shows, January 13, 2005
- Like airlines, Broadway shows use a variety of methods to price discriminate.
- Burden Growing on Pension Group, December 16, 2004
- Easing the burden on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will do the same for taxpayers.
- Competition and Incentives May Help Control Health Care Costs, November 17, 2004
- But to reap the benefits of competition, consumers have to have more choices.
- Patent Protection Gone Awry, October 21, 2004
- Changes in the patent system have contributed to a deterioration in patent quality.
- Good Stock Advice or Online Noise?, September 23, 2004
- Do online stock message boards contain any useful information?
- Donations Can Buy You Profits, August 25, 2004
- Little wonder that companies pour huge sums into presidential campaigns. The payoffs can be far greater.
- Analyzing the Marriage Gap, July 29, 2004
- According to recent research a married male identical twin makes
more money than his single brother.
- Parsing California Gas Prices, July 1, 2004
- Small fluctuations in supply or demand can mean large price swings in California's gas market.
- Exchange Rates the Economy, June 3, 2004
- Exchange rates have a lot to do with the health of the world economy.
- How Much Does Information Technology Matter?, May 6, 2004
- Does information technology confer a competitive advantage?
- Options Accounting Rules Are Changing, April 8, 2004
- Stock options are still a gamble, but the size of the pot may soon be clearer.
- What Goes Abroad Usually Comes Back, With Benefits, March 11, 2004
- Trade is a two way street.
- Information Technology May Have Cured Low Service-Sector Productivity, February 11, 2004
- IT's big productivity impact seems to have been on services.
- Why is that Dollar in Your Pocket Worth Anything?, January 15, 2004
- The Iraqi dinar provides a lesson in monetary theory.
- The True Costs of S.U.V.s, December 12, 2003
- The laudable private incentive to choose a safe vehicle may, perversely, reduce overall safety.
- Which Party in the White House Means Good Times for Investors?, November 20, 2003
- Does the stock market do better when a Republican is president or when a Democrat is president? [chart]
- The Mixed Bag of Productivity, October 23, 2003
- Productivity, trade and jobs.
- Lessons from California's Budget, September 25, 2003
- California's budget mess is widely misunderstood.
- The Hunk Differential, Aug 28, 2003
- Being beautiful pays off, even in occupations where you wouldn't expect it to.
- A Good Idea with Bad Press, July 31, 2003
- The Pentagon's proposal for a market in terrorism indicators was
a good idea that had bad PR.
- When Emotions Guide Investors
, July 3, 2003
- Is the current tech stock recovery a rational reaction to oversold
sector, or is it the start of another bubble?
- Dealing With Deflation, June 5, 2003
- Just as a rosy complexion can be a sign of health or of a fever, deflation can be a sign of economic strength or weakness.
- A Market Approach to Politics, May 7, 2003
- How markets can help aggregate beliefs?
- Novel Ideas for a Risky World, April 10, 2003
- Some risks are more manageable than others. Can we design markets to change that?
- Why New Savings Plans Won't Work, March 13, 2003
- Default choices in saving plans may be too powerful.
- Deficits and Political Pain, Feb 13, 2003
- The deficit is bad and getting worse.
- Bush's Plan to Eliminate Taxes on
Stock Dividends, Jan 16, 2003
- There's a lot to be said for eliminating the double taxation of dividends,
but it should be done at the right time in the right way.
- Online Sales Offer Fresh Look at
Economy, Dec 19, 2002
- Online shopping was supposed to revolutionize the way we buy. That
hasn't happened quite yet, but economic research on online commerce is
- The Fed Trounces the Private Sector
in Crystal-Ball Gazing, Nov 22, 2002
- Whom should we believe: Fed forecasts or the private sector?
- Lessons in Experiments Gone Wrong,
Oct 24, 2002
- The 2002 Nobel in Economic Science.
- Employment and Prosperity Affect
Body Inflation, Sept 26, 2002
- Close to half the American population is estimated to be overweight,
a condition that has serious economic consequences because of its impact
on labor supply and health care.
- When Economics Shifts From Science
to Engineering, August 29, 2002
- Economists are increasingly being called on to give advice a variety of market and market-like mechanisms.
- Tales of Manipulation and Design,
August 1, 2002
- Auctions are a great way to sell, but they are subject to manipulation.
- New Chips Can Keep a Tight Rein
on Consumers, July 4, 2002
- As chips get cheaper, products get smarter. Sometimes they can get
too smart for their own good.
- Productivity and Profitability Make
Odd Couple in Odd Recession, June 6, 2002
- Is the recent increase in productivity good news for business? Not
necessarily. The relationship between productivity and profitability is
looser than one might think.
- Knowing About Diluted Earnings Is
a Powerful Tool, May 9 2002
- Should options be expensed or not? Here's a suggestion.
- What, Exactly, Was on John Nash's
Beautiful Mind?, April 11, 2002
- So what did John Nash actually do?
- Enron Is Worst-Case Example of Need
for Clearer Accounting Rules, March 14, 2002
- The "genius of capitalism" depends critically on having clear rules
and transparent reporting for accounting.
- Investor Behavior Plays Role in Debate
Over Wider Choice in 401(ks)s, February 14, 2002
- Behaviorial economists present evidence that more choice isn't necessarily
better, a finding relevant to the debate over 401(k) plans.
- A New Economy With No New Economics,
January 17, 2002
- Coase's 1937 paper on "The Nature of the Firm" doesn't necessarily
imply that firms will get smaller when communication costs go down, contrary
to some claims.
- For Too Many, Social Security Is
Main Retirement Plan, December 20,2001
- Even relatively wealthy Americans save too little for retirement.
- A Bangladesh Bank Relies on Peer
Pressure for Collateral, November 22, 2001
- How the Grameen Bank overcomes asymmetric information problems that
perpetuate local monopolies.
- The Case for Catastrophe Bonds,
October 25, 2001
- Catastrophe bonds, a form of reinsurance, are based on a 50-year old
idea by a Nobel laureate economic theorist.
Views on How to Steer the Economy Towards Recovery, October 13, 2001
- Temporary tax rebates for consumers and firms will induce them to spend
- Videoconferencing May Get Much-Needed
Critical Mass, October 4, 2001
- Will videoconferencing ever take off?
- Slowdown in IT Equipment Sales Fuels
Push Into Services Business, September 10, 2001
- Forget about personalization, portals and push. Today's mantra in information
technology is "services."
- Good Monitors Make for Better Contracts,
August 23, 2001.
- Most computers have monitors, but some computers are monitors.
- Sorting Out Bundling and Antitrust
Law, July 26, 2001
- Selling bundles of products to increase profits.
- G.E. and Honeywell Ran Afoul of 19th-Century
Thinking, June 28, 2001
- How the economics of complements influenced EU thinking on the G.E.-Honeywell
- Market Risks Could Hurt the Social
Security Safety Net, May 31, 2001
- Privatizing social security caries significant risks, since the recent
performance of the stock market cannot be counted on.
- The Power of Luck Is Important in
Tax Policy, May 3, 2001
- How much income is due to ability, and how much to luck? The answer
is important for the shape of the "optimal income tax".
- Special Rate Schedules May Solve
Energy Woes, April 5, 2001
- An "increasing block rate" can help moderate demand for electricity.
- Forget Net Taxes. Forget Sales Taxes
Altogether, March 8, 2001
- Rather than extend sales tax to the Internet, think about dropping
it altogether and find better ways to tax consumption.
- Comparing Nasdaq and Tulips Unfair
to Flowers, February 8, 2001
- Was the Nasdaq bubble yet another example of tuplimania? No, but not
for the reason you think. [Chart.]
- California Must Control Demand for
Power, January 11, 2001
- The reason for the California electricity crisis can be summed up in
four words: demand grew, supply didn't.
- Exposing the Fraying Edges in the
Fabric of the Economy, December 18, 2000
- Part of the 2001 Economic Outlook section.
- Technology Rise and Fall Is as American
as the Model T, December 14, 2000
- Technology booms and busts have been with us for centuries.
- Online Users as Laboratory Rats, November 16,
- Unravelling the mystery of "late bidders" on eBay and Amazon.
- Tax Cuts May Be Fashionable, but
Now's a Good Time to Raise Gas Taxes, October 19, 2000
- United States policy on gasoline taxation could be much improved.
- Examining Differences in Drug Prices,
September 21, 2000
- The economics of differential drug pricing.
- Online Commerce Creates Strange Competition,
August 24, 2000
- The Internet may raise or lower prices, depending on the nature of
- Internet Changes the Economics of
Information Industries, July 27, 2000.
- Economics of Napster.
- Mixing Economics and Political Science
at Universities, June 29, 2000
- Economic approaches to forecasting election results.
- Managing Online Security Risks, June
- Role of liability in risk management for computer security.
- Cool Media, November 13, 2000.
- A new generation is turning the tables on television.
- Paying Complements, May 22, 2000.
- The proposed Microsoft breakup puts the economics of competition
to the test.
- Priceline's Magic Show, April 17, 2000
- The name-your-price retailer has an old trick up its sleeve.
- Field of Dreams, March 17, 2000.
- What if you build broadband and no one comes?
- The Law of Recombinant Growth, February 28, 2000.
- Like Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, today's
inventors have learned that the sum is greater than its parts.
- Drop the Sales Tax, January 21, 2000.
- Stop worrying about online sales tax collection. Tax income or