Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Real Reason Dinosaurs Became Extinct

If doctors became better at curing lung cancer what would happen to the number of people who smoke cigarettes? What would happen to the overall number of people who died from lung cancer? Explain.

(The title to this blog post is in reference to a The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson in which several dinosaurs were standing around smoking cigarettes--very funny stuff.)

Congratulations to Yang Yang for being the first to submit a reasoned answer to this week's question.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Professor Salaries = f (Student Evaluations)

Imagine that starting next year, professors' salaries become determined entirely by student evaluations. Professors with the highest ratings will earn around $140,000 a year, while those with the lowest scores will receive about $30,000 a year. What will happen to teaching quality?

Congratulations to Elizabeth Ekey for providing a cogent analysis of the professor compensation scheme. Read Elizabeth's arguments in the comments section.

(This question is borrowed from James D. Miller's Principles of Microeconomics. The "winning" answer will exhibit concise and complete analysis.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am a famous economics major. Who am I?

Detroit and Philadelphia were my playgrounds when I was younger, but Washington D.C. is where I play now.

Congratulations to Josh Bibb for being the first to recognize Senator Jim Bunning as the famous econ major. Bunning is a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher who mostly played for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.