Sunday, March 29, 2009

ECON 450: Assignment for Wednesday

Below are the readings for Wednesday. Please read the Becker piece and the How to Understand Statistics piece before class. The Lazear piece is also an interesting exploration of the application of economic tools to topics that (until recently) people didn't really think of as economics. The Choi piece is, obviously, an extreme example of the application of economic tools to "non-standard" economics problems. This piece is highly technical, so just click the link and get a sense for what he's arguing (and more importantly how he's thinking about the problem).

Becker, Gary (1993) “Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior.” Journal of Political Economy 101 (3): 385-409.

How to Understand Statistics

Lazear, Edward P. (2000) “Economic Imperialism.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 115 (1): 99-146.

Choi, J.P. (2002) “Up or Down? A Male Economist’s Manifesto on Toilet Seat Etiquette

Note, I am not providing links to the Becker and Lazear pieces. One skill I want to make sure that you posess/acquire is the ability to find articles on your own. So this time (and occassionally through the term), I will force you to do a little extra work. I assure you that both of these articles are on the internet, so it shouldn't be that much work.

Before 11PM Tuesday, please send me an email in which you briefly address two questions:

1) What is economics?

2) Why are you majoring in it? (If you are. If you aren't tell me why you are in this class?)

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