Monk’s Loss

Recently I was watching a show called “Monk.”  It’s one of those 2000’s USA detective shows.  The rough premise of the show is about an amazing detective (Monk) with obsessive compulsive disorder and a number of phobias.  Most of the show is him coping with his crippling disorders and the world not accommodating him.  Of course, each episode is capped off with him solving some absurd/extreme murder mystery.  The way he solves mysteries is also congruent with his disorders.  This one episode where his therapist offers him amazing medication.  This was music to Monk’s ears, because he hates his OCD Continue reading Monk’s Loss

Bidding on eBay Shouldn’t Be So Hard

The other day I decided to venture back into the world of eBay after taking a 2-year hiatus- a result of never being able to win any items. Having forgotten about why I left the trading medium, I was soon reminded when I was attempting to bid on a used bike lock that had one day remaining, 4 bids, and a going price of $15 that I was willing to outbid. My first instinct was to bid just a little more than 15, as to not increase the final price by too much if I were to win. One hour Continue reading Bidding on eBay Shouldn’t Be So Hard

Run the Ball!

I will admit, that being someone who was born and raised in Seattle, this weekend’s football game was a little upsetting. I lived through the disappointment that the Mariners of the early oughts brought with them when they lost, twice in a row, to the Yankees, forever cementing them (and possibly the entire state) as some kind of evil empire in my young mind. So it will likely come as no surprise that around 6:30 pm on Sunday I had all kinds of colorful language for Pete Carroll, Darrell Bevell and pretty much anything I saw when Russell Wilson, with Continue reading Run the Ball!


With fall break in front of us and midterms almost behind us, perhaps one of the last things that any student is thinking of right now is the work due after break. You know, that paper that was assigned weeks ago to be turned in the day classes resume? Procrastination is real and we can use economic theory to prove that the phenomenon is a result of rational thinking contrary to the many perceptions of laziness and lack of time management which surround the act of doing work later, rather than sooner. The theory comes from microeconomics and it goes like this. Continue reading Procrastination

Uncle Timmy Bought You a Hip New CD

We all know the feeling when we get an unwanted gift, whether it is an unexpected pet fish, a candle to add to the pile, or Aunt Clara’s rabbit pajamas: sometimes people, even with the best intentions, miss the mark. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook, is currently facing a twitter-storm because Apple automatically credited a U2 album to everyone’s iTunes account, regardless of whether they wanted it or not. Many people are countering, saying that it’s extremely selfish to be upset about receiving a free album. “What kind of person would complain about that” or, “Who doesn’t love Bono!” they Continue reading Uncle Timmy Bought You a Hip New CD

The Wrong Track

In Simpler: The Future of Government, Cass Sunstein sets the behavioral economics stage by framing the impacts of either staying the course or effortfully taking an action. Often, the choices we make can be thought of as either “do nothing” (and stay the course) or “do something” and decide to engage in a particular action. So the decision to eat a brownie might be a decision between saying the course (not eating because I’m ok with the status quo) and taking the action (chowing down). Many of us are particularly inclined to do … well … nothing. This effect, the status quo bias, has been well-documented. Since it Continue reading The Wrong Track

What is Availability Bias?

The way we develop our own ideas of the likelihood of an event happening can be greatly influenced by the environment around us. These “subjective probabilities” then form the basis of decisions we make when there is risk involved – but if these probabilities are off, we can end up making decisions that are off the mark. The concept of availability bias describes how new or recently observed information can skew your perception of an event’s probability. This can occur subtly and surprisingly easily. Imagine your decision whether or not to purchase a lottery ticket. Most tickets have the odds right on Continue reading What is Availability Bias?

Problems with Procrastination

Whenever I have major deadlines encroaching, I suddenly find YouTube and Facebook utterly fascinating and irresistibly amusing. I end up spending my scarce time randomly surfing the web despite the hours of work I have yet to do. Looking back, I often wonder how I could have possibly justified watching hours of YouTube videos? I mean I’m an economist for heaven’s sake! I am well versed in cost-benefit analysis. I understand the inner workings of achieving market efficiency. So why, despite all my econ know-how, do I often find myself regretting the choices I have made? To better understand my Continue reading Problems with Procrastination