A penny saved is a penny earned

When it comes to regulatory burdens, it is not necessarily the cost of a specific regulation that matters. It is the fact that many such seemingly trivial regulations taken together impose substantial costs on businesses. [...]

Public broadcasting is poor economics

In a world of hundreds of TV channels, internet streaming services and encrypted broadcasting, why do we still have giant public broadcasters? This is the question that German economists Justus Haucap, Christiane Kehder and Ina Loebert ask in a new paper for the Berlin-based think tank Prometheus Institute. [...]

Why the EU is hung up on mobile roaming

The idea of abolishing all roaming rates across the EU may have populist appeal, and it is easy to see why EU politicians are pushing the idea. However, it is equally clear why such a policy does not make much sense. [...]

Plain stupid

In a world of complex markets with millions of buyers, sellers and products, brands provide orientation. This is what brands contribute to civilisation. [...]

No olive branch for a European comedy

Whether there have to be single-use oil canisters on European restaurant tables or not may not be the biggest question for the world economy today. But to watch the European Union dealing with it in such an overly-bureaucratic way, one may well be concerned for the future of the European economy – not just in olive-growing countries. [...]

WoFs, frogs, and broken windows

The purpose of vehicle testing is safety – not creating employment. But as one of my favourite German proverbs goes: “If you want to drain a pond, you shouldn’t ask the frogs for permission.” [...]

Plain packaging not so plain

It is hard to foresee which effect will be stronger: a reduced demand from plain packaging or an increased demand from the policy’s unintended effects on price. [...]