Some thoughts on one of Brian L. Frye’s Ipse Dixits, devoted to the art market. In the podcast, Tim Schneider explains that high-end galleries won’t even quote prices to wealthy buyers unless the buyers have standing in the social network that is the art market, because who buys now affects the prices that galleries and […]
Samuel Cook defends advertising on the grounds that it: funds; drives culture; creates competition; and influences, rather than manipulates. I have argued at length against each of these apologies for advertising. Funding. Yes, advertising does fund newspapers, online search, social media, and many other useful services. But there are better ways to fund services we […]
Cash is just another input. Concentrations of wealth, concentrations of cash, throw firm surpluses to the wealthy. Deconcentrate wealth, deconcentrate cash, and corporate surpluses will fall more evenly across inputs to the firm.
Have you ever paid so much for something that you had to wonder whether it was really worth it? What prices would trigger that feeling for you? $25 for toothpaste? $2,500 for a Broadway ticket? Armies of data analysts are working hard right now to help companies identify and charge those individualized prices to you. […]
An important point that didn’t make it into my opinion article arguing that the FTC should unwind Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is this: Most people don’t buy groceries online today, but eventually they will. That’s why I wrote that Amazon’s website, along with its voice search service, Alexa, constitute an essential marketing platform, required […]
Algorithms may make collusion easier, by reducing the cost of monitoring and reacting to the behavior of other participants in an oligopoly. But even the fastest of algorithms can’t guarantee collusion, contrary to what Stucke and Ezrahi seem (p. 62-65) to suggest. After all, the classic model of the failure of collusion, the prisoner’s dilemma, […]
I have on the one side anarchy, competition, and freedom, all synonyms, and on the other command, monopoly, and regulation. In general, the left wants freedom in private life (e.g., the liberation of women from their husbands) and regulation in public life (e.g., tax those sugary soft drinks). But when it comes to industrial organization, […]
Once, we standardized the price, and let the airlines compete on the product. That was nice, but elitist, because the standardized price was high. Now, we standardize nothing, except safety. Because the consumer notices only price, the airlines compete on headline fares, to fool the consumer, and debase the product to maximize profit. The solution […]
Bigness is billions of human beings working together to make each others’ lives better, in perfect harmony and love. What’s wrong with that? I’m with Galbraith, not Brandeis.
When optimization arrives, either others will optimize against you or you will optimize against others. Business against you or you against business. There will be either corporate planning or central planning.