In economics, there is a type of product called "Veblen good" that does not contradicts the normal supply-and-demand relationships. For a normal good, a decrease in supply corresponds to an increase in price, leading to a corresponding drop in demand as consumers reduce consumption and/or seek out cheaper substitutes for the now more expensive product. But for a Veblen good, while decrease in supply also leads to a price increase, demand actually surges, with consumers assigning higher value to the good due to the higher price of the good.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
at 2:29 PM
The author has been living in the town of Iringa for so long that, not entirely deliberately, he has become a frequent customer in many of the town's local eateries. Given that it is rather unusual to see Chinese people hanging out in local eateries to begin with, he has become a largely recognizable face among the staff of these eateries. And as a recognizable face, he is often treated with smiles, handshakes, and quite a bit of eagerness with it comes to being informed of what are on the menu and recommended for the day. For the longest time, the author simply thought such behaviors are just the norms of how staff in food places talk.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
at 1:28 PM
A few years back, the author was traveling through the city of Hamburg in northern Germany during his vacation days as a Master's student. Perhaps one of the most shocking (at least to the author) was how the subway trains crisscrossing the city did not have actual entrance gates in most stations. Instead of a series of gates where commuters had to stick their train tickets into before emerging on the other side so that they can proceed to the train platforms, the Hamburg metro simply had ticket machines inside the trains to validate tickets, while the stations themselves simply connected to the outside without restraint on entry or exit.