On Quotes from F.A. Hayek
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they can imagine they can design.”
On the Power of Prices
: Informative, Summative, and Coordinating
It is only through the voluntary coordination of the efforts of various economic agents that we can make the products we use today.
On Prize-Linked Savings
It’s basically a no-lose lottery; you get the chance to hit a big payday, but you still get to keep your money if you don’t.
On Melting Coins and Negative Seignorage
We're running out of coins!
On the Economics of Ticket Scalping
We analyze ticket scalping during UAAP games using a simple demand and supply framework.
On the Effectiveness of Higher Sin Taxes
Last year, President Aquino signed the Sin Tax Bill. It's now been half a year since the new taxes were implemented, and it's a good time to assess how it's been achieving its goals so far.
On the News
: The Philippines is hitting the jackpot, and the cash is here to stay
This week in news: The Philippines posts large gaming revenue gains from recent resort and casino developments along Manila Bay, and the risk of capital flight remains relatively low amid prudent government finance and capital controls. Read more about them in this post.
On Tax Evasion
: They go to crooked politicians, anyway
The Tax Justice Institute estimated the amount of taxes lost due to tax avoidance for several countries, including the Philippines, using World Bank data on shadow economies (the unregulated, but not illegal part of the market).
On W.H. Taft Residences
: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride
A building along Taft Avenue, W.H. Taft Residences, is still under construction after nearly 7 years, serving as a prime example of why diversified conglomerates should be wary of putting their foot in the real estate and construction industry, where stretched operating cycles require special attention.
On the Philippine IT-BPO Industry
: "Bayaning Puyat" or Dead-end Job?
The call center industry, or more widely called IT-BPO, has received its fair share of praise for contributing to economic and job growth, but a job in this industry still carries the stigma of low pay and low skill. We can take a look at the IT-BPO industry using data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to shed some light on the graveyard shift.
On Purchasing Power Parities, the Big Mac Index, and the International Comparison Programme
The GDP per capita of the Philippines exceeds that of India by 55%, but the cost of living is so much cheaper in India that if you account for cheaper goods and services, that difference narrows to only 20%. In this first installment of Numbersense, we will take a look at purchasing power parities and why they are important for cross-country comparisons.
: Do Filipinos really pay the highest taxes among ASEAN countries?'
Congress is moving to lower income tax rates for Filipinos, with impetus from a report by the Tax Management Association of the Philippines (TMAP) asserting that Filipinos pay the highest income tax rates in Southeast Asia. Let's investigate this claim and determine whether the argument holds water.
On Pump Prices
: Where can you gas up for less?
What providers let your stretch you gas money for more miles? Where is it more economical to gas up? Data from the Department of Energy's price watch can provide some data-driven answers to these questions.
On Imperial Manila, Modernization Failure, and Comparative Advantage
: A close look at regional accounts
With traffic jams and port congestion an all-too-common sight in the Philippine capital, there is growing sentiment that development should be moved away from the metropolis and into other regions. What does the data, particularly regional accounts from the Philippine Statistics Authority, have to say?
On Taxes versus Sales
: How large is government compared to publicly-listed corporations?
Have you ever wondered how government finances compare to the largest publicly-listed corporations in the country? When the financial bulk of private entities outweigh that of the public purse, it may give rise to undue influence over regulation and legislation. Data from public company disclosures and Department of Finance can help us investigate the matter.
On Coffee Coverage
: Starbucks store density in Metro Manila
Some people just can't start the day without having a cup of coffee. By taking a look at the city-specific distribution of Starbucks stores around Metro Manila, we can see where the coffee guzzlers are located.
On Benford's Law
: Determining import fraud risk using customs data
If you were to think of the first digits of a group of related variables, say, tax payments, it would be intuitive to think that the digits would more or less be evenly distributed between 1 to 9. However, it turns out that the exponential nature of growth makes it such that the first digits are more likely to be 1's than any other number.
On Airline Agitation
: Flight networks and what Facebook comments say about customer satisfaction
The airline industry is one of the most competitive industries in the Philippines, and has recently undergone a wave of consolidation, rebranding, and restructuring in an effort to capture Filipinos' growing love for air travel. By analyzing Facebook comments and flight network data, we can shed light on how the key players are competing in this space.