Economic Thinking and Snow

As I walked in today I had a series of economic thoughts.  If I can get my students to think this way I will have succeeded this semester.

  1. An “economic naturalist” question.  Why is the sidewalk in front of Draper cleaned every 3 hours during a snow and the sidewalk in front of Pearson cleaned only once per day?
  2. Warning signs and “level” questions.  Is one warning sign about a slick floor sufficient?  So there is a large marginal benefit to using the FIRST SIGN.  Would there be a marginal benefit of a SECOND SIGN warning of slick floors?  What number of warning signs is optimal.  When does the MC exceed the MB.
  3. Another level question.  How often–during a snow and the days after–should facilities management clean the sidewalk.  Once per day?  Twice per day? 100 times per day?  What is the optimal?  Draw a picture and think about this.
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One Response

  1. i WISH i could of thought up some good naturalist questions… it would be interesting to think in this way- since I’m in your class, I guess I have it to look forward to.

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