Apparently, this is a result of a sharp increase in supply that the company needs to reduce before more donations are accepted. Like most temporary surpluses, this one will be removed, in this case probably not by the price system (although one can imagine that potential recipients, hearing of the surplus and being indifferent about their donor’s hair color, might offer Cryos a below-market price).
More likely, Cryos’ refusal to accept any more supply will cause the surplus to disappear, so that redheads’ donations will soon be accepted again.
In his discussion of the Siege of Paris 1870-71, David McCullough in The Greater Journey discusses the path of meat prices. One observer “considered cats ‘downright good eating,’ as apparently did many people. The price of a cat on the market was four times that of a dog.” Whether the price difference was really based on demand—differences in tastes for the two kinds of meat—or supply—is not mentioned in the book, but perhaps Parisians protected Fido less well than they protected Fluffy.
This illustrates a ubiquitous problem in discussing price differences: It’s easy to adduce a cause on one side of the market, but just as easy to bring up another cause on the other side of the market. I would bet on demand in this case, though, since it’s easier to protect Fido than a loose-running cat.
Photo: David Campbell 2 Kings VII discusses an incident in which the people of Israel are besieged and food prices are skyrocketing. A military officer scoffs when “a man of God” predicts that barley will soon sell for ½ shekel and fine flour for 1 shekel (very low prices). The officer is shortly trampled to […] Read More »
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An E.R. doctor in the Pacific Northwest who writes a blog called “Movin’ Meat” might seem an unlikely candidate to know the economics of street drugs. But since he treats overdoses, he’s learned a bit. Read More »
The determinants of one’s demand for a product are covered in every introductory economics course. Independent of prices, my income and my general preferences, I also consider the cuteness of the product’s name. Read More »
We’ve had some old unwanted gold jewelry lying around for a long time. With gold at $1,237 per ounce, we figured it was time to sell it. We are a living movement up the supply curve of gold. Read More »
My son is renting a car in December. He’ll drive it for two days in Orlando, then he’ll drive to South Florida for an eight-day stay. With the drop-off charge, the price is $900. But if he drops the car off in South Florida when he arrives and rents a new one from the same company, the total price is only $500. He values his time spent dropping off the car at less than $400, so he’ll do it. Read More »