Surge pricing in two markets

December 19, 2014

Larry White writes:

People get worked up when Uber charges more at peak times (New Years Eve) or gas stations raise their prices (remember Sandy?). Why don’t we see the same in business markets? The price of transporting oil in super tankers has gone up by a factor of eight since the summer, but we don’t see any complaints.

In economic terms, both situations show supply and demand at work — and working pretty well, I’d say. So why the different reactions? Why no accusations of “unfairness” or “gouging” when businesses are on both sides of the market? Are businesses simply more experienced in dealing with fluctuations? Less appealing as victims? More likely to understand how supply and demand work?

Please submit your answers to Larry.

Holiday songs

December 15, 2014

The down side of business analytics?

Business students learn to code

October 27, 2014

On Friday, several dozen students at NYU’s Stern School of Business got together for the first meeting of Data Bootcamp. When a group of students decided they wanted to learn to code, Dave Backus and Glenn Okun organized a short non-credit course. Meeting every second week on Friday afternoons, the course introduces code newbies to the popular programming language Python. The goal is to give them enough familiarity to work effectively with economic, financial, and business data. Projects include quantitative asset management, emerging market assessment, and revenue projections for movies. MBA2 Jeremy Wimmer commented: “I think this makes me even more valuable to potential employers.” Professor Okun added:  “The impetus for this comes from our students. We’re just trying to keep up.”

Course repository (work in progress): 

The invisible foot

October 18, 2014

From Raihan Salam in Slate:

We’ve all heard of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” that guides the free market. The invisible foot is the invisible hand’s brutish older brother. It is the force that sees to it that capital gets reallocated from firms that aren’t doing their jobs to firms that are by putting the former out of business.

French celebrate Nobel

October 18, 2014

Jean Tirole, the distinguished French economist, was awarded the economics Nobel on Monday. It was a great day for economics and, of course, for France. The following messages of congratulations were collected from French sources by Axelle Ferriere:   Read the rest of this entry »

Brooklyn Nets analytics position

September 22, 2014

From a job posting from the Brooklyn Nets. Position: Director of Basketball Analytics. Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, Outlook and related software;
  • Must be able to lift ten pounds.

Link from Nathan Yau.

Where’s the value in university education?

September 12, 2014

We’ve been thinking a lot about education here, about where the value is to our students. (Python anyone?) In a similar vein, Steven Pinker writes (lightly edited):

Read the rest of this entry »

The education business

September 12, 2014

Joe Foudy passes on this wonderful piece by Aswath Damodaran. One of the highlights (lightly edited):  Read the rest of this entry »

Why Argentina should not pay

September 6, 2014

Here’s an interesting take on the continuing saga from Juan Pablo Nicolini. I’ve taken some liberty with the translation, but believe this captures the spirit of his remarks:  Read the rest of this entry »

Graph of the day

August 25, 2014

Kim Ruhl passes on this graph of how many people woke up during the earthquake. One reason you want to learn to code: so you can do cool things like this.


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