Our Social Goods: Citizenship-as-a-Service

In most countries, you can change the city or state where you live fairly easily. Why is it so hard to change country where you live? From escaping oppression to seeking opportunity, there are many reasons you might want to change your country. But, as immigration struggles around the world show, it’s very hard to...Continue reading

A Nobel Prize for Food Aid Distribution: World Food Programme

Distribution is important enough to the social good that the United Nations World Food Programme has won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. WFP provides food aid distribution and other services for 100 million people across 88 countries every day to combat world hunger. They often work inside war zones and epidemics and famines.

Designing a Credit Market for Stormwater Management

Heavy rains and flood waters flow across the impervious surfaces of roads and parking lots. That flow pushes pollution on those surfaces–plastic bottles, cigarette butts, motor oil–into stormwater management systems. That pollution then dumps into lakes and streams. This system is how so much plastic ends up in our oceans.

Governing the Commons: Making Markets for Water

Fresh water may be the ultimate community shared resource or commons. It’s a finite and renewing resource. It’s essential for life as we know it. We spend billions of dollars on space exploration searching for it on other planets. How we make use of this scarce shared resource now and in the coming decades will...Continue reading

The public sector as a market: Aggregating the demands of citizens

Markets, and marketing, help bring consumers and producers together. In this sense, markets and marketing can be said to aggregate the demands of consumers into a focused or structured group, so that producers can easily serve them. Does this same mechanism apply to public and social goods that we, as citizens, want to consume? And...Continue reading

The Power of Price: Energy and Demand Response

We cannot directly store large quantities of electricity (yet), so grid operators work to keep the supply and demand of electricity in constant equilibrium in real time. As any economist will tell you, changes in supply and demand lead to changes in price. This makes the real price of electricity is as volatile as shares...Continue reading

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