Coase Colored Glasses

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Coase Colored Glasses: Wal-Mart vs. Costco

American better able to absorb immigrants

Don Boudreaux explains why here.
He says: In many other ways America today can better absorb immigrants. For example, compared to 1920, per person today we:

* have 10 times more miles of paved roads

* have more than twice as many physicians

* have three times as many teachers

* have 540 percent more police officers

* have twice as many firefighters

* produce 2.4 times more oil -- as known reserves of oil grow

* produce 2.67 times more cubic feet of lumber -- as America's supply of lumber stands grows

* have conquered most of the infectious diseases that were major killers in the past.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wal-Mart vs. Costco

Not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore, but if so then read this.
I'm not necessarily anti-Wal-Mart, but there is a better way, as this article shows.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Coase Colored Glasses

Realtors as cartel
Realtors exist to reduce transaction costs, which sounds like a nice market solution to a diffused information problem. But, the National Association of Realtors and their state affiliates have managed to turn their services into a cartel where they are able to set their pricces at 6% of the selling price. Freakonomics has a good chapter on whether or not you should use a realtor. Here is a recent post on their webpage on the topic.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Work together?

When Prof. Simmons said we could work together on the final questions, do you think he implied this blog as working together?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Coase Colored Glasses

So being short as a teenager reduces your adult earning power. But I could give my kids growth hormones. But, if everyone does that then tmean height increases, meaning my kid will need more growth hormone. Life is truly unfair. Here is the info:

Lead researcher
Daniel Silverman of the University of Michigan, studied more than
17,000 people in Britain and 12,000 in the United states and found:

o Even short teenagers who grow into normal-size adults are
doomed to earn up to 13 percent less in the workplace
than people who were tall as teens.

o The earnings gap widens over the short teen's life - again,
regardless of how tall an adult he or she becomes.

o This "height premium" is comparable to wage gaps caused by
race and gender.

Silverman concludes the possible return on a $25,000-per-year
investment in growth hormone -- as much as a 2.7 percent boost in wages
for every inch gained -- is too tempting to ignore.

However, others fear if physicians give growth hormones to children
who fall below the mean, the mean could rise, too, creating a whole new
class of kids who qualify for the drugs.

Source: Arlene Weintraub and Michael Arndt, "My, How You've Grown,"
BusinessWeek, November 28, 2005; and Dan Silverman, Nicola Persico and
Andrew Postlewaite, "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor
Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy,
Vol. 112, No. 5, May 2004.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

USU Admisistration Needs to be "Simmonized"

I propose the outrageous idea that all members of the faculty, administration, hall monitors, tutors and playground assistants be required to attend and successfully pass Professor Simmons' Law & Econ class.

Taste the ill-flavored logic in today's edition of the Statesman.

Due to decreases in enrollment at Utah State University, students may be paying for several unavoidable increases in fees during the 2005-06 academic school year. Of the different university entities that receive money from fees, students may see increases in athletics, building, Student Health and Wellness Center, music and theater and bus fees. Members of the Student Fee Board heard proposals from each entity Tuesday whether to increase or keep fees the same. However, almost every entity is trying to offset the deficits from decreases in enrollment this academic year. "The bottom line is I didn't anticipate as much of a decline in enrollment," said Tiffany Evans, director of Student Involvement and Leadership Center who is in charge of the student activity fee. "We will not be asking for an increase; we will be able to handle this internally.” However, some areas of the university were not as fortunate. Clint Moffitt, associate vice president for finance, said they have no choice but to propose a $3.50 increase per semester for building fees for students with 10 or more credits. “I wish we could say we're going down and not increasing anything, but that's not happening," Moffitt said. The university is required to maintain coverage of a bond for the Spectrum, but decreased enrollment has offset that. There may also be a $1 increase for the music and theater fee to help fund the Aggie marching band. “We are anticipating an increase of some sort," said Felicia Horsley, ASUSU HASS senator. "We felt if it was a small fee that would be only a portion of what the band is in need of.” Although there may have been an increase for the computer fee, Spencer Watts, Academic Senate president, said there will be other changes made to compensate for lack of funding. The athletics department is also looking to receive a $5 increase per semester. But it is unsure whether the Student Health and Wellness Center fee as well as the bus fee will be increased and by how much. Those proposing fee increases will present their reasoning for the increase in late January and the Student Fee Board will vote on the increases in February. Students with questions about the fee increases can contact the Student Fee Board President Justin Atkinson at

Areas receiving increases are athletics, building, Student Health and Wellness Center, music and theater and bus fees. Let's look at these and see if a better solution could be had.

Athletics: Get rid of the fee and sell tickets. I only attended half of the home football games and the majority of the basketball games. All this for $200 a semester?! This fee (or better yet season tickets to all or any sport's season) should be optional at the time tuition is due.

The building fee should, and is, based on the amount of credits taken. I think that this fee should increase as more credits are taken. My logic being that the more credits taken, the more I will use the buildings. It should not be capped off at 10 credits.

Student Health and Wellness Center: I absolutely hate this fee! This if a great example of government imposing laws on the weak just because they feel that is what is best for society. I have only used the wellness center once in my 2 yrs at USU. I hate this fee! This fee should be optional when tuition payment is due.

Music and theater: Include their fee in the price of the ticket at the sporting events.

Bus: Charge a fee of $.25 to students who what to ride the bus. For one student who rides the bus twice a day for a semester the total would be $18.75. That's more than the fee and those who use the buses will pay for it. I use the bus about three times a week (I think it better to live closer to campus and walk, even in the snow, than to pay $.25). This fee of a semester bus pass should be optional at the time tuition is due! I hate this fee!

Other fees that should be added as a pay-as-used basis. Computer lab-My roommate never uses the labs because he has his own laptop. Why should he pay for something he is not using? Raise the price of parking. Activities-add the option of a season pass to all the activities on campus or charge us! This will reduce the cost of tuition and disposable income will fill our pockets.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Measuring demand

Using a free market system to assess demand for something assumes that everyone has equal oppurtuninty to money. The fact that not everyone has equal oppurtunity to money is obivious. I have a couple of friends who have graduated from college. They worked much harder than me in college and got better grades. Yet I will earn a higher salary when I graduate. Not because I worked hard in school or any other aspect of life, but simply because of natural and enviromental differences.
So you will ask do I think money should be taken from me and given to my friends. In many cases I would say yes. What they are doing is more important. So when I start making the money will I give it to them? Partly. If you have read the "All Government Employees are Overpaid" post then you already know that I do a lot to try to distribute the benefits of my advantages. I will probably continue to give more of my time then of my money, because I think it more beneficial that way.