Monday, April 18, 2011

The Plane Waited For You, But What do I Get

Just got back from Madison last night, great conferences which I will describe later this week. So a traveling story. About how to go from the bad guy to the good guy.

Part 1: Flight from Madison to Detroit is delayed 2 hours. Lands in Detroit just as our plane to DC is supposed to leave. We arrive and find the flight is being delayed (I think so we and some other can get on) we have 10 minutes to get from Gate 77 to 33.

Part 2: Mixed strategy. Marie and Sylvia take the tram, I take the stroller. I figure it will take more time to get the stroller up and down the elevator to the tram, plus I can run with the stroller. I also figure if Marie and Sylvia arrive, they'll hold the plane an extra minute or two for a Dad (or at least his cute baby).

Part 3: Make it to the plane and board!!! While we were boarding, a woman who was sitting in our seat is clearly aggitated that the plane was held 15 minutes for those of us with tight connection.

Part 4: She exclaims they held the plane for you, but what are they going to do for me (well after saying she just wanted to f-ing get to DC).

Part 5: I instinctively offer to buy her a beer. Since, I'm in a good mood, just made a connection I was sure to miss and Sylvia is asleep.

Part 6: She refuses the beer and grumbles. I say seriously let me buy you a drink.

Part 7: Nice lady behind angry lady who only wants to f-ing get to DC, rolls her eyes at angry lady. Now I'm the nice guy with the baby and she is the angry lady.

Part 8: Angry lady buys her own beer and looks mad the whole flight we arrive to the gate 2 minutes late.

Part 9: I win!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Invisible Hand That Created the $1,500 Stroller

Slate has an article on the Bugaboo the $1,500 stroller. Many people probably think $1,500 is too much for a stroller. I do not own a $1,500 stroller (I think ours was $200), but it does not surprise me based on four reasons.

First as income goes up people spend more on somethings. People like to spend money on their children, so we should expect over time as incomes increase the demand for upscale stroller to increase.

Second, I'm pretty sure there is a growing number of urban/wealthy parents who also spend a lot of time with their kid. For people like me, I walk my daughter Sylvia in a stroller to the grocery store, park, and other places at least twice a week. We have a car, but many parents substitute high quality strollers for cars in urban areas. Where I live it is faster for me to walk with a stroller to either grocery store within 1/2 mile of my house than it is to drive and load/unload the car.

Third, sometimes for luxury products higher price is taken (mistaken) as a signal for quality. In that case some products (college tuition, sports cars, cologne, and wine) people buy more when the price goes up and this violate the law of demand which is as price goes up people buy less.

Four, what else our the babies on Etrade going to do with their money.

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bryce Haper's Debut, Prospects Have Small Influence on Attendance

Bryce Harper will be making his pro debut in Rome Georgia tonight. Harper was the #1 pick in the MLB draft last year, but is starting the year playing for Hagerstown instead of Washington. I'm guessing a lot of people who go to games have not heard of Bryce Harper. Drafted players in MLB have a much smaller chance of making or staring in the majors than NFL or NBA players.

Recently my colleague Tom Rhoads and I did a study showing that having a top prospect on your minor league team had only small influence on attendance (at most a few % increase). The paper will come out in this June's Journal of Sports Economics, I'll link it then.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Who Has The Property Right

Earlier this year, the Loudoun County reader and her husband dined at a “very busy” Palio Ristorante Italiano in Leesburg, where she says they were seated promptly for their 6:30 reservation. “We had a cocktail, lovely meal and coffee,” after which “the waiter came to the table and asked us to leave, as he needed the table for another reservation. It was 8:45 p.m. To say we were astonished is an understatement. We made no fuss and left. We did not see anyone waiting to take the table.”

From Restaurant Critic Tom Sietsema's Column

Well of course the restaurant has the property right to ask someone to leave. But it comes with a cost, of upsetting customers. I have heard some restaurants well tell people up front how long they can have the table for. Seems to be a good solution. This is a case where norms (i.e. typical behavior) matter.

The story has an interesting ending too.

Most restaurateurs are loath to ask seated customers to free up their tables. “It’s not my style,” says Antonio Pino, the co-owner of Palio. He says the server in question is no longer employed there.

Bookmark and Share