Archives for information asymmetry



A Marriage Proposal

Spotted on a street corner in Chelsea (New York): Read More »



How to Avoid a Bad Apartment in New York City

One example was real-estate transactions. The more a customer can learn via the Internet about, say, a property for sale and similar properties, the less likely she is to make bad decisions. That said, there is still a lot of room for improvement. A reader named Sam Bauch describes his encounter with one particular area of information asymmetry in real-estate, and what he’s doing to stop it. Read More »



Why Don’t Hotels Use Roombas?

Taken fromo irobt.com My colleague Jeremy Greenwood has convinced me that advances in household technology have yielded tremendous benefits. And I’ll admit it: I love my vacuum-cleaning robot (the Roomba). Labor intensive vacuuming is, at least for me, a thing of the past. But I just realized something rather odd: I have never seen a […] Read More »



Ballerinas and Information Asymmetry

We’ve written quite a bit about various information asymmetries — i.e., when one party in a transaction has a lot more information than another — and how the Internet is very good at correcting that asymmetry. Among the examples we used were the cost of term-life insurance, the price of coffins, and real-estate listings. The […] Read More »



The FREAKest Links: Public Portfolios and Rubber Purses Edition

This week marks the launch of Covestor, an online investor service that allows other “covestors” to assess and even mimic your investment style. (Hat tip: Matthew Hertz.) Reader Elizabeth Gonzalez alerted us to an interesting consumer trend: high-end furniture and fashion accessories made from recycled trash. Here’s an example. Because nothing says “green” like a […] Read More »



Which Medical Practice Will Be Discredited Next?

An editorial in the current British Medical Journal makes a very sharp point that many of us have probably been thinking about in the last few weeks while reading the latest medical news in the papers: It’s easy to feel contempt for deluded practitioners of the past who advocated bloodletting and tonsillectomies for all. Easy, […] Read More »