Archives for discounting

Sure, “Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change” Sounds Nice…

You want to know what the biggest obstacle to dealing with climate change is? Simple: time. It will take decades before the carbon dioxide we emit now begins to have its full effect on the planet’s climate. And by the same token, it will take decades before we are able to enjoy the positive climate effects of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions now. (Even if we could stop emitting all CO? today, there’s already future warming that’s been baked into the system, thanks to past emission.)

That is the lead of Bryan Walsh‘s excellent Time article called “Why We Don’t Care About Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change.” It covers much of the ground we covered in SuperFreakonomics but probably does a better job in laying out the inherent conflicts of climate change — long-term problem vs. short-term incentives — without enraging people. Read More »

Healthier Seniors, Higher Ski Prices?

My son, who does downhill skiing, noticed that the resort he usually visits has changed its pricing policy. It used to offer free lift tickets to skiers ages 70+; now it only gives them a 20 percent discount off the regular rates. This change makes sense. My guess is that in times past, fewer older seniors even thought of skiing; and those few who did were somewhat marginal—had a fairly high demand elasticity. Today’s older seniors are healthier, have more skiing experience, and thus probably have a lower demand elasticity. It thus makes sense for the resort to reduce the extent of discrimination favoring old folks in its pricing scheme. (HT: MAH)

Trader Joe's Secrets

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Trader Joe’s unexpected owners: a German discount-grocery chain. A new article in Fortune aims to reveal a few more Trader Joe’s secrets. Read More »

FREAK Shots: Would You Take Free Food?

The more you buy, the more you save. Read More »

Enjoy Senior Discounts While They Last

My guess is that many senior discounts are anachronisms from times when seniors were scarce and generally poorer than the average American. I don’t expect senior discounts to disappear during the recession, when firms are competing especially hard for customers; but I wouldn’t be surprised to see many disappear in the next boom, as I believe they should. Read More »

Complementary Condoms

Economists talk loosely about substitutes and complements as if each pair of goods can always be characterized as one or the other. That’s incorrect: their substitutability can depend on the situation, particularly the time and the individual’s circumstances, even for the same person. An acquaintance of mine reported the perhaps-apocryphal story that a major discount […] Read More »

Do You Know Who Owns Trader Joe’s?

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? From what I have seen, the world is divided into three sets of people. 1. Those who have never been to a Trader Joe’s, and perhaps have never heard of it. 2. Those who love Trader Joe’s more than they love their own families. 3. Those who love Trader […] Read More »

FREAK-Shots: Forget Hemlines and Lipstick

An article in The Economist reports that “the lipstick index,” the theory that women buy more lipstick in tough economic times, is probably not valid. A better index might instead be hairstyles. As The Independent reports, Japanese researchers found that women tend to have longer hairstyles when the economy is doing well, and shorter styles […] Read More »