Purpose: the purpose of this assignment is to develop your critical thinking skills in regard to economics and your communication skills.
Skills: You will critically analyze and evaluate issues, components, and implications of real-life economic problems and opportunities by applying economic concepts, principles, and theory.
Knowledge: This assignment will also help you to become familiar with the following important content knowledge in this discipline:
- Positive and Negative Incentives
- Asymmetric Information
- Opportunity Cost
- Demand and Supply Analysis
Please read the Introduction and Chapters One through Five of the Freakonomics book and answer the questions below. When answering the questions, be sure to be as detailed as possible. You are NOT being evaluated on what you can rephrase from the book, but your own analysis using ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES that we have learned thus far. Simply retyping or summarizing what happened is worth very little on this assignment. Questions should be answered in paragraph form, using proper grammar and sentence structure. When supporting your position, use examples from work, school or other areas of your life to illustrate your point. Remember, do not simply cut and paste from a website etc, as this can be construed as plagiarism.
This assignment should be considered a formal report. It MUST be submitted as a single Word document via D2L for credit. The writing assignment is in a “Question and Answer” format. Please answer each question in paragraph form. Please write questions and answers in APA format by following How do You Format A Question and Answer in APA. There are no standard answers to the questions asked. However, your answers should be based on the Freakonomics book.
Please remember these reports will be run through Turnitin.com looking for plagiarism. Please make sure you are aware of the University’s policies on plagiarism so that you avoid it at all costs. Instances of plagiarism will be reported to the University per the handbook.
Freakonomics Core Competencies Questions
Answer all sub-questions in Question 1 through Question 5.
1. (REQUIRED) Explain how the imposition of a fine for tardy parents at a day care center may have altered the motivations of these parents. Given what was found, what would you do or have done to improve the situation? Would your solution solve the problem or would it create other motives for the parents? What is an incentive? How does it relate to the study of economics?
2. (REQUIRED) The authors state that one of the biggest strength at the disposal of the Ku Klux Klan involved “information asymmetries. Explain what is meant by the term “information asymmetries” and give examples of information asymmetries we encounter in everyday life. Explain how such innovations as the Internet have affected the prevalence of information asymmetries.
3. (REQUIRED) Sudhir Venkatesh – a PhD student – took his life in his hands by walking into a low income, traditionally violent neighborhood, to do a research project. He came out (alive) with much more. In the process of interacting with the inhabitants, he became involved with a drug-dealing gang. After many months he learned some valuable lessons in Economics (even if they were of a dubious nature). So, with that in mind, I’ll ask you the same question the authors asked. Why DO drug Dealers Still Live with their Moms?” Explain the economic impact of doing “business” in the illegal drug trafficking ‘industry”. Who makes the money? Where does it go? And, what is the impact on the basic “worker”. Use the Laws of Supply and Demand as well as the principles we’ve learned so far, including opportunity cost and price v. quantity.
4. (REQUIRED). Provide at least three reasons why crime actually dropped when the experts were so certain it would do the opposite. In the process, provide your thoughts on which of those three potential reasons you feel had the biggest impact and why (remember to support your answer with strong economic principles).
5. (REQUIRED) What is “fear mongering” and why are parents so susceptible to it? What market forces give rise to parenting books that appeal to a parent’s fears and inadequacies rather than books which present an objective and evenhanded articulation of the state-of-the science of good parenting? According to the data developed from the ECLS, what is more important regarding a child’s success on standardized tests: what a parent does for a child or what a parent is? In your opinion, what might be an explanation for such a strange conclusion?
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