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study by the American Sociological Association has found that the old staple of prison currency – cigarettes – has been replaced by instant ramen noodles in prisons across the United States.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?

Cubans do Entrepreneurship Better than Silicon Valley

For the past two weeks, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to go on tour to Mexico and Cuba as a violinist in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. One thing that stood out to me during my weeklong stay in Cuba was how entrepreneurial the Cuban people I met along the way could be. Even more impressive … More Cubans do Entrepreneurship Better than Silicon Valley