John Stossel, through ReasonTV, looks at the regulations behind the food truck industry. From a competitive market standpoint, food trucks have the ability to respond to high demand areas by relocating at any given moment. For brick-and-mortar businesses, however, food trucks enter the market as a low-cost competitor and steal customers from permanent restaurants. Many cities in the United States have setup regulation limiting the location of food trucks or the hours they may operate. This rent seeking behavior, however, limits the amount of options available to consumers in the name of “fairness.”
John Stossel is back to discuss sports stadiums (mega events) and why their subsidies aren’t worth the investments from an economic standpoint. Along with economist, JC Bradbury, Stossel investigates the counterfactual to the claim that stadiums and mega events will become an economic boom to cities and states.
One of the struggles with hiring workers is evaluating talent, specifically for college athletes considering the NFL. In 1998, Ryan Leaf appeared to be the top college athlete even with some questionable character flaws. The Colts, instead, chose to select Peyton Manning with their first pick of the draft despite some criticism. Manning went on to be one of the winningest QBs in NFL history while Ryan Leaf is considered one of the biggest NFL busts in the history of the league. This clip from the New York Time’s Retro Reporting division revisits that controversial decision.
This video does a nice job of describing many of the economic arguments for and against raising the minimum wage in a comical way. The clip is a few years old, but it still does a nice job of discussing many of the common arguments. Note: the clip does include a supply and demand graph, but it labels supply and demand incorrectly! This is a good opportunity to discuss economic misconceptions, as well as the labor supply and labor demand curves.
Thanks to Rebecca Chambers for the clip and description!
Over the past 15 years bakers in Canada have been colluding to raise the price of bread across many of Canada’s major retailers. The retailers (allegedly) agreed to the price increase so long as the others in the group also maintained the high prices. While some of the retailers are denying the claim, Canada’s Competition Bureau is developing a case to expose the participants.
Local municipalities often dump significant resources into funding sports stadiums in the hopes of attracting economic benefits from additional tourism. Despite criticism from nearly every economist, economic impact reports are designed and pitched to citizens as the justification for subsidizing sports teams. In this interview, JC Bradbury discusses the counterfactual of tourists’ true impact and how these stadiums continue to be funded.
If you’d like more to read more about sports stadiums and funding, check out Field of Schemes.
When teams request public funding for new stadiums, they often do so with the threat of relocating to a city that is eager for a team. These credible threats must be without a team (either never having one or recently lost one) and are willing to put up the money to support a team. With a credible threat in place, host cities are often left with the option of paying large public subsidies.
The LA Clippers explain the difference between variable and dynamic ticket pricing, which are often confused by fans. Variable pricing refers to changes in ticket prices based on factors like opponent, day of the week, or time of the game. Dynamic ticket pricing takes things a step further and actually bases the ticket price off demand and supply for a particular game.
Northwestern University unveiled one of the first dynamic pricing models for college sports in 2014. Students can reserve seats for upcoming sporting events and if prices fall to lower prices because of low demand, anyone who paid higher prices would be refunded. This incentive was meant to encourage students to reserve their seats early for big games. The two also introduce a Dutch Auction for tickets where students can set their reserve price and if they fall within the window then they’ll be assigned tickets.