The more time we spend at UPS, the more obvious patterns of student behavior become. Among these behaviors is the congestion of the SUB at predictable times of day. As such, the following question is worth asking: Might there be an economic solution to the long SUB lines at certain times? Waiting is a cost, and economic theory has a lot to say about dealing with such inefficiencies. Consider everything that comes with getting lunch at noon. Bodies fill up the diner, all the best food options have what seems like a mile-long line, it takes longer than usual to Continue reading Long Lines at the SUB: A Market Failure Worth Addressing?
Seattle boasts a thriving hipster culture. Its music venues, coffee shops, and small businesses provide alternatives to large-scale corporations. Hipsters generally reject mainstream culture in favor for the “underground”: small, up and coming businesses, musicians, and trends that have yet to gain considerable traction. This behavior is explained by network externalities, or additional effects on the utilities of goods that rely on the number of consumers. Network externalities can be both positive (bandwagon effect) and negative (snob effect). In the bandwagon effect, as the quantity of consumers increases, one’s utility increases. This effect appears when someone wants to fit in Continue reading Network Externalities: Mom Jeans, Man Buns, and the Snob Effect
Overfishing. Pollution. Littering. All of these are ways in which society as a whole misuses common resources (in these cases, animal populations, the environment, and public spaces). These resources are all subject to a phenomenon known as the Tragedy of the Commons, a situation in which everyone has an incentive to use as much of a shared resource as possible but no one has an inherent incentive to maintain it. Fixing the problem involves individuals making decisions that make them worse off while everyone else benefits. Take littering in a public park as an example. Say there are 100 people Continue reading Comedy of the Commons