‘Maisel Day’ and the Power of Nostalgia

To support its Emmy-nominated program “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon’s marketing department partnered with dozens of businesses in Los Angeles for ‘Maisel Day’ on August 15th. From a gas station charging 30 cents a gallon to burgers, fries, and a slice of pie for 80 cents at a diner, this clever marketing campaign uses some … More ‘Maisel Day’ and the Power of Nostalgia

Econ in the News: Gas Price Variation from Pump to Pump

Have you ever wondered why gas prices can vary significantly, even when the gas stations are within a block of each other? There are a lot of factors in play that cause these price differences, and with a few economic models and methods, we can start to tease out reasons for the variation. Focusing on … More Econ in the News: Gas Price Variation from Pump to Pump

Econ in the News: Cottage Food Deregulation

As of January 1st, 2019, the cottage food industry in California has received a major legislative boost: a wider variety of foods made in a home kitchen can now be legally sold with fewer permit restrictions. I want to examine questions of deregulation, substitution, and cognitive biases that feed into the cottage food debate. First … More Econ in the News: Cottage Food Deregulation

Econ in the News: Vanilla Beans are more Expensive than Silver

The skyrocketing price of vanilla beans has led to shortages of vanilla-derived products across the world, to the dismay of all who enjoy making baked goods (myself included).  During the 2017-2018 season, black Madagascar vanilla bean prices peaked at $635 per kilogram ($18/ounce), a price that officially made it worth more than its weight in … More Econ in the News: Vanilla Beans are more Expensive than Silver

SF Scooter Wars

Over the past few months, I’ve been following the “scooter wars” raging on in SF as part of a very interesting class on the sharing economy I took at Stanford. Several scooter companies have emerged across major metropolitan areas in the United States, offering electric scooters for people to zip around on. San Francisco has … More SF Scooter Wars

Econ in the News: Delicious Prison Currency

A recent study by the American Sociological Association has found that the old staple of prison currency – cigarettes – has been replaced by instant ramen noodles in prisons across the United States. The rise of ramen in the grey markets of intra-prison exchanges can be tied to two trends shaking up the “traditional” prison … More Econ in the News: Delicious Prison Currency

Do you applaud the decision or the outcome?

  One class I’m taking this quarter is ECON137: Decision Modeling and Information. Taught by the legendary Scott McKeon, this class focuses on the deterministic side of Economics – given some information, figure out the right decision a person should make. With this decision analysis comes a philosophical quandary: should we as a society reward … More Do you applaud the decision or the outcome?