|How much it costs to make BBQ
|"This balancing act plays out on menu at Adamson Barbecue in Leaside, where the smoked brisket takes 24 hours to make and sells for $30 per pound - of which only $2.14 is profit."
|"A perceived deeper discount creates a higher conversion event - in other words, more buyers"
|Why one size doesn't fit all
|"Many successful businesses, from supermarkets to Starbucks, offer a vast range without scaring away their customers. A first-time visitor to Starbucks might be confused, but regulars work it out. And clever design can prevent choice seeming overwhelming."
|The high cost of movie treats
|"There is no question popcorn and soda pop prices at North American theatres far exceed what you'd pay to enjoy the same goods at home. So why do we pay? It turns out popcorn has a story to tell about economics and consumer preferences that goes far beyond the silver screen."
|Why don't restaurants charge for reservations?
|"If economists owned popular restaurants like State Bird, they would take one look at the long lines and raise prices. After all, the overwhelming demand is pretty clear. Or at the very least, given how reservations disappear like Coachella tickets, they would start charging for them. In fact, since restaurants do not do this, a number of startups in San Francisco and New York City have started to sell reservations to users, often by reserving tables and scalping them."
|The voodoo of lobster economics
|"There is a voodoo to lobster economics. What used to be poor man's fare, the fallback meal of people too impoverished to afford anything else, is now a billion dollar business and a universal mark of luxury - with the result that a lobster that sells for $3.50 on the wharf can cost $60 and more on a restaurant plate in New York or Toronto or Shanghai, regardless of how many lobsters are pulled from the sea. How this happens is the life story of Larry the Lobster."
|People really like free stuff
|"Neoclassical economics assumes that we are rational and that buying is as straightforward as performing a cost-benefit analysis. But when given the option to get something for free and its cost is zero, some fairly wild consumer behavior takes place."
|Consumers are hopeless at math
|"You walk into a Starbucks and see two deals for a cup of coffee. The first deal offers 33% extra coffee. The second takes 33% off the regular price. What's the better deal?"
|The psychology of discounting
|"Consumers often struggle to realise, for example, that a 50% increase in quantity is the same as a 33% discount in price. They overwhelmingly assume the former is better value. In an experiment, the researchers sold 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack than when it carried an equivalent discount (even after all other effects, such as a desire to stockpile, were controlled for)."
|Information suppression in competitive markets
|"Following Becker (1957) we ask whether competition eliminates the effects of behavioral biases. We study products with add-ons. In competitive markets with costless communication, Bayesian consumers infer that hidden prices are likely to be high prices. Hence, firms choose not to shroud information. However, information shrouding may occur in an economy with some myopic consumers. Such shrouding creates an inefficiency. Sometimes firms have an incentive to eliminate this inefficiency by educating their competitors' myopic consumers. However, if add-ons have close substitutes, a"
|'Fair and square' pricing? That'll never work
|"Sounds like a sales pitch aimed at consumer advocates and collectors of fine print frustration, like me. As it turned out, it was a sales pitch that only a consumer advocate could love. Shoppers hated it."
|The price of nails
|"This dramatic change in productivity of nail production has the implication that nails were far more expensive in relative terms back in the 1700s. Sichel offers a number of vivid anecdotes and statistics to support this claim."
|A monopoly a day
|"As Apple prepared to introduce its first iPad, the late Steve Jobs, then its chief executive, suggested moving to an 'agency model,' under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. Apple also stipulated that publishers couldn't let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price."
|Newspapers, Paywalls, and Core Users
|"This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers."
|Friday's deals may not be the best
|"Professor Etzioni, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington, has directed his considerable intellect at the American ritual of shopping for bargains on Black Friday. After examining billions of prices of consumer electronics, he has decided to spend the busiest shopping day of the year scuba-diving in Bali."
|The razors-and-blades myth
|"Gillette hadn't played razors-and-blades when it could have during the life of the 1904 patents and didn't seem well situated to do so after their expiration, but it was exactly at that point that Gillette played something like razors-and-blades and that was when it made the most money. Razors-and-blades seems to have worked at the point where the theory suggests that it shouldn't have. Why is that? Did Gillette succeed because of quality or were their powerful even-if-hard-to-discern-now locks - psychological or otherwise - between the razors and the blades?"