Category Archives: Economics

Chick-fil-A Economics

Economics is tied heavily to chain restaurants. We have the Big Mac index (which is an incredibly accurate estimate of exchange rates) and the Waffle House index (which is used by FEMA to assess how bad a disaster is). So, to turn to the chain restaurants as allegory is almost natural for economists.

Recent headlines about Chick-fil-A and their opposition to gay marriage have brought about calls for boycotts, and defense of the company, but I have not seen a very important word yet, “externalities.” In fact, when I used a search engine to find the string of “Chick-fil-A” and “externalities” together, there was only one result, a blog from and it has nothing to do with the current cultural topic. Continue reading


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The Truth About the Illinois St Patrick’s Day Lottery


Illinois Lottery St Patricks Millionaire Raffle

Image from Illinois Lottery

The Illinois St. Patrick’s Day Lottery Raffle is about to be drawn and it offers “the best odds of winning a million dollars ever offered by the Illinois Lottery.”  That last bit is important – “ever offered by the Illinois lottery,” because it is not at all someone’s best chance at winning $1,000,000.  Let’s start with a breakdown of the lottery’s raffle: Continue reading

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Movies and Popcorn

Popcorn pricing

Image from Steve Snodgrass

Warning – there are graphs, numbers, and mentions of demand curves ahead.

I read an article this week about a class-action lawsuit against movie theaters for charging outrageous prices for popcorn.  Go here if you want to read the specifics.  Let’s start this off frankly – the lawsuit is a waste of the courts’ time and the person bringing this lawsuit is an idiot.

The complaint in the lawsuit is that a fountain drink and a box of Goobers cost him $8, while the same items cost less than $3 at nearby stores (which aren’t providing entertainment).  One interviewed person said that she spent $5 for a movie ticket and $11 for a popcorn and fountain drink. Continue reading

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