With reference to Colorado proposing a 30% tax on recreational marijuana sales (15% excise tax and 15% sales tax),
Jeffrey Miron, an economics professor at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian group ... said that as long as federal marijuana laws continued to be unsettled, collecting taxes would be challenging. Moreover, he said, there is no way to predict how many customers would continue to buy on the black market.
After Prohibition ended in 1933, states levied taxes on alcohol, in part because they were desperate for revenue after the Great Depression. But that shift, Dr. Miron noted, was undertaken with the full support of the federal government.
“It’s easy to get a little overexcited that legalizing marijuana is going to solve the world’s budgetary problems,” Dr. Miron said. “But the question for the tax revenue part of this will be how much the federal government allows these markets to come completely above ground.”
The revenue collected from a tax will hinge on the relative price-elasticities of demand and supply. The less price elastic the demand for a good, the more revenue can be collected with a tax--because people still buy the good even at higher prices. With federal support for marijuana sales it is likely that demand for legal marjuana would be much less price elastic, and a state tax would raise much more revenue for the state than without federal support--making the tax more effective at raising revenue.
But then again, I guess it depends on whether the goal of the tax is to raise revenue.
And I wonder if the demand for Doritos has increased in Colorado?
I was recently made aware of a 2012 article in Ecological Economics listing the "Most influential institutions in the field of environmental and ecological economics (2000–2009)." Here they are:
University of Maryland
Resources for the Future
University of East Anglia
National Chung Hsing University
Vrije University Amsterdam
Centre for International Forestry
Ohio State University
University of California at
University of Leeds
*The title has absolutely nothing to do with the article. In fact, OSU's high ranking appears to be almost solely based on one article published by Dr. Elena Irwin; who also happens to be ranked as the 15th most impactful author in the field in the same article.
And was a graduate school colleague of mine. Just sayin'.
John and I are conspicuously absent from that list.
Nevertheless, I think the ranking is highly accurate and cannot be questioned in any way.
I know many of you are wondering to yourself 'Where is Tim and why hasn't he posted in a few days. I enjoy Tim's posts so much more than John's." Well, I'm in England (Plymouth to be precise) for a three day workshop on trends in U.S. and U.K. appraches to ecosystem valuation--I'm representing the U.S. perspective in case you were wondering. Anyway, I will have more on the workshop later, but for now I wanted to give you things I've learned about traveling to England. Please keep in mind, as if you needed reminding, I am a stupid American.
Thoughts (In chronological order):
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight sucks.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM the previous night sucks more.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM the previous night on the night when the the U.S. decides to still observe daylight savings time (or goes off daylight savings time, I can never keep that straight) sucks worse.
Getting up at 3:30AM to catch a flight after staying up until 12:00AM
the previous night on the night when the the U.S. decides to still
observe daylight savings time (or goes off daylight savings time, I can
never keep that straight) only to learn upon landing at Dulles airport that your flight to London has been cancelled...well you can fill the rest in.
Twelve hours in an airport is boring.
I can actually sleep on a plane.
But I chose to first watch a movie (The Life of Pi), because 1) it was free and 2) I'm stupid.
At Heathrow airport they make you walk approximately 5K (3.1 miles American--see how I slipped in the European metric there?) to get to customs. That's a long way after sleeping only 5 hours total in the previous 48.
Paddington Station does look like the kind of place a cuddly bear in a blue raincoat would really want to hang out.
People in Paddington Station seem as though they are all in a hurry.
Everything around Paddington Station looks the same. It is hard to tell the houses from the hotels from the dentist office.
Light switches--down is on, up is off? Can we get a little uniformity please?
You have to turn on the outlets or your computer, cell phone and ipad won't charge. Just sayin'.
You have to turn on the outlets?
Again, Down is on, up is off.
Even if a shower has a faucet on the wall, and even if you stand to the side, it doesn't mean that if you turn on the water you won't get an unexpected freezing shower from the other facucet on the ceiling.
The open bus tour is a great way to see London if you only have a few hours.
Correct that. The open bus is a great way to see London if you only have a few hours and it is above 0 degrees Celsius (That's 32F for you Americans). Otherwise, it's freaking cold up there.
A lot of buildings in London are very old and remind me of that movie Mary Poppins or those books by that Charles Dickens guy.
Fish and Chips is really just fried fish and French Fries. I think they named it something fancy to trick us stupid Americans.
Riding trains is fun. Especially if you have a backwards seat.
Sheep. A lot of them. Just an observation from the window of the train.
Not sure why England has a reputation for dreary weather with sunsets like this...
On Wednesday, Louis Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum
(ICF), announced the organization's seven finalists for the 2013
Intelligent Community of the Year. The announcement was made during the
final day of the Pacific Telecommunications Council's annual meeting in
The seven finalists -- Columbus, Ohio; Oulu, Finland; Stratford, Canada;
Taichung City, Taiwan; Tallinn, Estonia; Taoyuan County, Taiwan; and
Toronto, Canada -- "provide a model of 21st Century economic and social
development, using information and communications technology to power
growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture,"
said an ICF statement. Two other U.S. cities -- Mitchell, S.D.; and
Philadelphia -- were also in contention for top seven.
Zacharilla says the perception of Columbus, Ohio, and the new reality are very different. "The perception is Ohio is in the industrial rust belt, largely irrelevant, not really doing much, living on old foundry fumes. That's not at all the case," he said. "It is a very hip city, and their incubator, TechColumbus, is literally putting out all kinds of new businesses." In addition, said Zacharilla, the city has effectively reversed "brain drain," so highly trained and intelligent people stay in the area versus move elsewhere.
Columbus has a net in-migration of new people for the first time in decades. "They have created 29,000 jobs in the last two years," he said, "You don't associate Ohio with creating jobs at that rate. I believe that as Ohio goes, so goes the nation, and the good news is that Columbus is going pretty well."
In general, the demand for a college education is fairly inelastic. Higher average prices don't tend to reduce the number of students going to college all that much. But I've often wondered (I wonder often), in a highly competitive market, whether a single school lowering their tuition would result in a significant enough increase in quantity demanded to offset the revenue loss per student in tuition. It looks like Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina is going to run a test for us.
If you’re a parent with college-age kids, you probably experienced sticker shock the first time you checked out tuition costs. And maybe even a few times after that.
The College Board says that the average yearly cost for a four-year public university for an in-state student is now $8,240. For a private college, it’s $28,500 per year.
William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, says that most students are so discouraged with what he calls the "sticker price" of higher education that they don’t even consider applying to a school they think is beyond their families’ means.
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous