You can buy insurance for practically anything these days. Planning a vacation to France? Your airline, travel agent or even hotel will likely offer trip insurance in case you need to change your dates or cancel. Going to the casino? You can insure your blackjack hand in case it’s not your lucky day.
Recently, I was even asked if I wanted to pay US$20 to insure a pair of $80 ice skates beyond the three-month warranty or $12 to protect a $40 television cable for a “lifetime” of protection – a quarter of each product’s price in exchange for extra “peace of mind.” But is it really worth paying the extra money? Here’s how an economist like me would answer that question. Continue reading
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article discussing my Prom Price Index (article is here). For those of you who are new readers, I have been creating an index that tracks the change in the price of going to the Prom since 2014. The updated 2018 index is found on this blog under the “Data Files” heading or by clicking here. Continue reading
Black Friday is hyped as one of the biggest in-store shopping days of the year, with stores trumpeting giant sales and even bigger advertising campaigns. Some pundits claim that Black Friday is dying and is no longer relevant. However, the National Retail Federation issued a strong denunciation of these articles and declared that Black Friday is “far from gone.” Which is the true story? Is Black Friday dying or still relevant? Continue reading