Showing 9 of 472 Publications in Economics

Brian Albrecht on Market Power

Presentations & Interviews ICLE Chief Economist Brian Albrecht was a guest on the Lead-Lag Live podcast to discuss the issues of market concentration, inflation, and the role of . . .

ICLE Chief Economist Brian Albrecht was a guest on the Lead-Lag Live podcast to discuss the issues of market concentration, inflation, and the role of “superstar” firms in the economy. Audio of the full episode is embedded below.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Are Early-Termination Fees ‘Junk’ Fees?

TOTM Cable and satellite companies often get a bad rap for early termination fees (ETFs). Consumer advocates portray them as “junk fees” or billing traps meant . . .

Cable and satellite companies often get a bad rap for early termination fees (ETFs). Consumer advocates portray them as “junk fees” or billing traps meant to cheat customers. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to accept these allegations at face value, characterizing ETFs as “junk fee billing practices … that penalize subscribers for terminating video service or switching video service providers.”

Read the full piece here.

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Telecommunications & Regulated Utilities

The Curious Case of the Missing Data Caps Investigation

TOTM In an announcement that was treated to mild fanfare (meaning it was reported by certain tech blogs, but largely ignored elsewhere), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . . .

In an announcement that was treated to mild fanfare (meaning it was reported by certain tech blogs, but largely ignored elsewhere), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel asked her fellow commissioners in June 2023 to support a formal notice of inquiry (NOI) to learn more about how broadband providers use data caps on consumer plans. The FCC simultaneously opened a “data portal” soliciting “narrative information” about consumers’ experiences with data caps.

But more than half a year later, the NOI has not been issued and none of the information from the data portal has been publicly released.

Read the full piece here.

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Telecommunications & Regulated Utilities

Lynne Kiesling on the Economics of Energy

Presentations & Interviews ICLE Academic Affiliate Lynne Kiesling was a guest on the The Answer Is Transaction Costs podcast to discuss distributed energy resources (DERs) and the complex . . .

ICLE Academic Affiliate Lynne Kiesling was a guest on the The Answer Is Transaction Costs podcast to discuss distributed energy resources (DERs) and the complex regulatory frameworks that shape smart-grid technologies. The full episode is embedded below.

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Innovation & the New Economy

No End in Sight for Our Gasoline Use

Popular Media Despite Biden’s attempts to “end fossil fuel” some basic economic analysis indicates his efforts are not in line with what the public wants. If you . . .

Despite Biden’s attempts to “end fossil fuel” some basic economic analysis indicates his efforts are not in line with what the public wants. If you think back to your Econ 101 class, you’ll probably remember something called revealed preference.

This basic insight of economics says that people’s actions in a market place are a much better indicator of what is going on in their heads than asking them in a poll. Someone might tell you they like Biden’s attempts to kill off reliable, inexpensive energy, but when the rubber meets the road, their purchasing decisions say otherwise.

Read the full piece here.

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Innovation & the New Economy

After O-Levels, the Choice of Subjects Isn’t Always Straightforward

Popular Media Come Thursday (Jan 11), students will receive their 2023 GCE O-Level examination results. The stress over performance can take on a slightly different dimension at this . . .

Come Thursday (Jan 11), students will receive their 2023 GCE O-Level examination results.

The stress over performance can take on a slightly different dimension at this juncture – on the one hand, there is a greater range of education options from the academic to the practical-oriented; on the other, teenagers will have to start thinking ahead to university and even career possibilities.

As educators, we are often asked by students for advice. In particular, those keen on pursuing the more academic A-Level route seek help deciding which subjects they should take at the Higher 2 (H2) level.

Our short answer tends to be a pragmatic question: Think ahead – what would you like to study at university? Take subjects that open those doors for you.

Read the full piece here.

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Innovation & the New Economy

Posner Meets Hayek: The Elements of an Austrian Law & Economics Research Program

Scholarship Abstract To date, Friedrich Hayek is the only winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics who also holds a law degree. The role of law . . .

Abstract

To date, Friedrich Hayek is the only winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics who also holds a law degree. The role of law is central to Hayek’s work and prominent in the research program of the Austrian School of Economics generally. Although Hayek’s contributions to jurisprudence are manifest, as are the influence of his economics ideas, his influence on the field of law and economics has remained modest. This lecture, delivered as the Keynote Lecture at the 2023 Asian Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting, provides an introduction to the fundamentals of an Austrian Law & Economics research program in contrast to the mainstream, Chicago-school research program that has dominated the field since its early history. Compared to the neoclassical approach, Austrian thinking provides a more insightful approach to many of the key concepts generally associated with the economic analysis of law: the nature and success of the common law as a system of law, the importance of stability and simple rules in the law, and the strong preference for private ordering via contract, personal autonomy, and voluntary exchange exhibited in the common law.

I identify and briefly describe six key distinguishing characteristics of the Austrian school that distinguishes it from neoclassical law and economics: (1) Methodological individualism, (2) utility and costs are subjective, (3) the division of knowledge, (4) spontaneous order, (5) competition as a discovery procedure, and (6) the nature of economic equilibrium. I will also highlight some of the ways in which examining law and economics through an Austrian framework provides valuable insights about law and economics.

Read at SSRN.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

As Good as Gold? A Framework for Analyzing Redeemable Paper Money

Scholarship Abstract In this paper we present a theory of note discounts, exchange rates between brands of notes, and the price level in convertible paper money . . .

Abstract

In this paper we present a theory of note discounts, exchange rates between brands of notes, and the price level in convertible paper money regimes. We show that under perfect commitment to convertibility, notes and the underlying commodity are perfect substitutes and price level determination is identical to a pure commodity standard. Different brands of currency trade at par. With imperfect commitment to convertibility, the probability that the issuer reneges on the commitment to convertibility explains discounts/premia on notes and exchange rates between brands in competitive note regimes. In non-competitive regimes, the probability of reneging explains fluctuations in the price level. To support our model, we discuss historical events and time periods that are consistent with our theory.

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Financial Regulation & Corporate Governance

A Consumer-Welfare-Centric Reform Agenda for the Federal Trade Commission

TOTM As we approach a presidential election year, it is time to begin developing a  comprehensive reform agenda for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In that . . .

As we approach a presidential election year, it is time to begin developing a  comprehensive reform agenda for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In that spirit, this post proposes 12 reforms that could be implemented by new leadership, either through unilateral action by a new chair or (in some cases) majority votes of the commission.

Read the full piece here.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection