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Great Moments in Price Discrimination

Summary:
Below is a quote from a news item in the Washington Post by Casey Quackenbush, August 15, 2019. It’s titled “A Run on Gas Masks: Hong Kong protestors circumvent crackdown on protective gear” and is quoted in Liz Wolfe, “Hong Kong’s Market Is Providing Gas Masks and Protective Gear Despite Government Crackdown,” Reason.com, August 16, 2019. At big protests, [Lee] rents a stall nearby and sells packets containing an eye mask, respirator, gloves and helmet. The packet costs him about , but he sells on a pay-what-you-can basis. The student price is .27…At a recent protest, Lee said, about 20 police came to his stall looking for ‘laser pens or other dangerous goods.’ He packages his supplies in black plastic bags. That way, protesters won’t get stopped on the

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Below is a quote from a news item in the Washington Post by Casey Quackenbush, August 15, 2019. It’s titled “A Run on Gas Masks: Hong Kong protestors circumvent crackdown on protective gear” and is quoted in Liz Wolfe, “Hong Kong’s Market Is Providing Gas Masks and Protective Gear Despite Government Crackdown,” Reason.com, August 16, 2019.

At big protests, [Lee] rents a stall nearby and sells packets containing an eye mask, respirator, gloves and helmet. The packet costs him about $64, but he sells on a pay-what-you-can basis. The student price is $1.27…At a recent protest, Lee said, about 20 police came to his stall looking for ‘laser pens or other dangerous goods.’

He packages his supplies in black plastic bags. That way, protesters won’t get stopped on the streets, and if the police want to know what’s inside, they need to buy it. He said he charges government staff about 1,000 times the student rate.

‘This is my business, not the government’s,’ he said.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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