Article in TheConversation

Should governments enable price discrimination by income? Firms and lower-income consumers would likely benefit.

This article was written jointly with Owen Southam, with contributions from Rasif Alakbarov and Harry Masters.

After some back-and-forth with the editors I think we converged on a piece that is readable to the layperson, without mis-stating the economics.

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Let Them Eat OpportunityCards: a new policy tool that may reduce inequality

Governments have unique private information about individual incomes. This suggests a new policy tool: consumers can be offered an “OpportunityCard” certifying their income, and firms can be allowed to price­ discriminate on this basis. This is politically appealing: it should reduce consumption inequality through the use of market mechanisms, rather than through taxes and spending. However, the efficiency consequences are theoretically ambiguous. I propose a pilot field experiment to provide empirical evidence on output, efficiency, and practical issues.