Friday, February 19, 2010

Gasoline boycott?

The price of gasoline is now exorbitant. A good scheme for solving the problem is for consumers to boycott gasoline, driving down its price; when the price is low, consumers can resume their higher purchases.

True or False? Explain your answer.

Congratulations to Jennifer Wolfe for being the first to provide a correct answer to this week's question.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Name That Economist

Here is a haiku to describe the mystery economist:

His foundations told,
a math story of econ,
and led to a prize.

Your answer must also come in the form of a haiku!

Congratulations to William Hamilton for correctly identifying Paul Samuelson as the mystery economist (and using a haiku along the way).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Simpson's Paradox......Doh!

Professor Neo Klassikle asked his research assistant to find out if the average wage of women rose or fell over a ten-year period. The following morning, the assistant returned and said, "I wasn't able to find anything on women, but I found out that the average wage for all workers fell during that period while the average wage for men rose. It must, therefore, be true that the average wage for women fell." "Not necessarily," said the professor. "It's possible that the average wage for women rose during that period, too." How could that happen? Use a numerical example to support your answer.

Congratulations to Yuan Tao for correctly explaining the seemingly odd set of facts described above. The problem presents an application of Simpson's Paradox.