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Links for 2016-10-26 []

Thursday, October 27, 2016 0:13
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  • To work as intended, Obamacare needs a bigger, more unpopular mandate – Vox
    As Caroline Pearson of Avalon Health told Vox, “The mandate penalties are not working to compel people into the market.” Her company’s research suggests the penalty would have to be several hundred dollars higher to make buying insurance a more compelling option for young and healthy people than simply paying the fine.
  • Vertical Integration, Market Foreclosure, and Consumer Welfare in the Cable Television Industry – Marginal REVOLUTION
    Out of date, yes, but still evidence that the proposed AT&T and Time-Warner merger is unlikely to damage the interests of consumers.  When there is some market power at each step along the supply chain, vertical integration typically lowers margins and prices, thereby increasing consumer surplus.
  • Maximizing Chase UR Points for a Trip to Hawaii
    On using Chase UR points for Hawaii.
  • Wal-Mart’s Wage Experiment Works … for Workers – Bloomberg View
    That is, I predicted that workers would like making more per hour, rather than less (who wouldn’t?), and that this would allow Wal-Mart to attract a better class of worker, or at least keep the workers it had around longer, reducing turnover costs and allowing the company to deliver a better customer experience. But I was less sure that this would actually deliver increased profits; indeed, Irwin notes that it hasn’t. Revenue is up, as are ratings in customer surveys. But so far, that’s not translating into enhanced profitability. “Operating income for Walmart’s United States stores was down 6 percent in the most recent quarter,” Irwin writes, “reflecting higher labor costs and other new investments.”


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