Posts Tagged ‘uber’

What else would you expect in Philly?

January 31, 2016

Tim B. Lee has an interesting piece about the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s attempts to throttle Lyft and Uber (edited for continuity):

The PPA is a taxpayer-supported government agency, so you might have expected it to remain neutral. But according to records obtained by the Philadelphia Daily News, senior PPA officials actively strategized with taxi officials to preserve PPA’s authority over Uber and other ride-hailing companies and appears to have used taxpayer funds to lobby against Uber.

Well put, but the phrase “might have expected” suggests a curiously innocent view of government regulation — and Philadelphia. It’s not all bad: My sister tells me Parking Wars was terrific.

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Regulating taxis

October 11, 2015

In Global Economy, our discussion of the pros and cons of regulation goes like this:

  • There’s often a legitimate rationale for regulation (eg, safety).
  • Real-world regulation often goes well beyond the rationale, typically because incumbents use it to protect themselves from competition (eg, Tesla, chickens, braiding hair).

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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.