Sunday, March 29, 2009
ECON 450: Assignment for Wednesday
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?)
Here is an interesting stat for everyone. College Dropouts on Average make more then college graduates..... Thanks to dark horses such as Bill Gates and others who inflate this stat since they have ungodly amounts of money. But by the numbers it is true.
In the Becker article I found it very interesting that economists and the public had difficulty excepting a method of looking at people as another economic actor. The reason that I found this to be odd, is simply because it seems that back in those days people were treated poorly in the work force and there were a substantially larger amount of blue collar jobs compared to upper-class white jobs and it would seem that a concept which presents the human work force as a machine would be more socially acceptable.
Instead, what if the father just loves his children and wants to see them succeed and grow into nice, productive individuals? Is it so radical to suggest that people can be nice and loving simply because they are nice and loving? Do people always have to have selfish motives for everything they do? I submit that they do not.
Maybe there are actually nice people out there who are willing to absorb costs greater than the benefits they receive. Would that ruin economic theory? Or are they just irrational?
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