FREAK-est Links

  1. Austin tries to incentivize employees to leave their cars at home, but it doesn’t work.
  2. Are 60 percent of New York State’s cigarettes smuggled in?
  3. Freakonomics movie trailer in Italian.
  4. Sunk costs and Mark Sanchez.
  5. Garlic smugglers in the E.U. dodge high import duties. (HT: Rich)

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  1. nobody.really says:

    The Sunk-Cost-and-Sanchez story is kinda odd. Yes, it includes a fine discussion of sunk costs in general, and tension between economic theory and psychology.

    But the excuse for this bit of econ exposition is the idea that sunk costs explain why the New York Jets don’t fire their underperforming quarterback, Mark Sanchez. The Jets are contractually obligated to pay Sanchez whether they play him or not; yes, that’s a sunk cost. But the article then proceeds to suggest that the Jets don’t have a viable substitute on the roster. That is, if they don’t play Sanchez they’d have to HIRE a new quarterback. That is, by continuing to play Sanchez, the Jets get to avoid the cost of retaining a new quarterback.

    That is, the Jets have perfectly sound reasons, grounded in AVOIDED COSTS, to continue to play Sanchez. Especially within the context of team salary caps, that’s a significant consideration. And given that the Jets sell out roughly 95% of seats, at home or on the road, what incentive do they have to worry about increasing wins rather than reducing costs?

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  2. Seminymous Coward says:

    Regarding the failed incentive scheme for not driving to work, I was sad but not surprised to read “A permanent program will be rolled out next year.”

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    • James says:

      Gotta remember, though, that these are Texans we’re talking about. Getting them to do something intelligent and/or environmentally beneficial is like teaching snakes to tap-dance :-)

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      • mannyv says:

        James, you could say the same thing about Northerners. How’s that coastal living thing working out?

        As an aside, it’s hard to take public transportation in a low-density environment. For all you northerners out there, how many people in Nassau and Suffolk County take the bus?

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      • James says:

        Coastal living, moi? My house sits at about 4800 ft on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, quite some distance from any coast, let alone the one you’re thinking about.

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      • Caleb B says:

        Austin isn’t really anything like the rest of Texas. It’s more like the Peoples Republic of Austin and it just so happens to be in Texas.

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  3. huhu says:

    I have never thought that one could hate the building itself..but after reviewing this article and after seeing some very ugly buildings myself I came to a conclusion that one can actually hate the building very much..This is my favourite list of such ‘beauties’.
    Well, some buildings are just bizarre to me but some are really ugly – especially those built of concrete only..

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