Update for 2017 on the “Cost of Going to the Prom”

In both 2014 and 2015 I wrote about the cost of going to the Prom. I found the results surprising. The cost of going to the prom from 1998 to 2015 was going up much slower than the cost of inflation. The findings appeared in outlets like the Washington Post, US News and The Conversation. It is now two years later.

What has happened since 2015 to the cost of attending the prom? Continue reading

Explainer: why does the price for turkeys fall just before Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a great US holiday during which people consume huge quantities of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie.  One of the stranger things about this holiday, however, is that a few days before everyone starts cooking, whole turkeys are suddenly discounted by supermarkets and grocery stores (see examples here or here).

And this happens every holiday season: the price falls just before Thanksgiving and stays low until Christmas. For example, November 2014’s price per pound for turkey was almost 20% lower than the price the previous March.  Why does the price come down at the one time of the year when demand for the product spikes the most – before a holiday that’s literally dubbed “Turkey Day”? Continue reading

Are Turkeys Getting More Expensive Over Time?

It is almost time for Thanksgiving, the holiday when many people in the USA cook and eat turkey.  As I was walking up and down the aisles of the supermarket yesterday, buying food for the holiday, I was wondering what has happened to the price of turkeys over time.

Continue reading

Is a $15 per Hour Minimum Wage An Insane Increase?

Recently, The New York Times ran a front page story highlighting demonstrations that are being held for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Currently, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which means more than doubling the pay of low-wage workers. Is there any precedent for a $7.75 absolute increase, which is a 107% relative increase? Continue reading

What is Really So Amazing About “The Dress” is Not The Color!

This week a huge debate has sprung up over the color of “The Dress.”  The item in question is a two-toned sleeveless dress sold by an English clothing chain called Roman Originals.  Over the last few days many people have had furious debates over whether the dress is gold and white OR black and blue.  Even the Wall Street Journal, a staid conservative publication devoted primarily to business, devoted more than a half-page to the debate over “The Dress’s” color this weekend.  For an economist, however, “The Dress” is really amazing because of its price.

Continue reading