Read Levitt and Dubner, Freakonomics
Read Levitt and Dubner, Freakonomics

(all) Read Ch. 2 How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a group of Real-Estate Agents?’ Submit written answers to the following questions:

1. Why do economists say that information is never free?
2. What information do you generate at work? Does it have “raw power” (p. 66)? What is the cost?
3. Explain Plessy v. Ferguson. Jim Crow laws.
4. What was the history of the Ku Klux Klan before WWII? after WWII?
5. Who was Stetson Kennedy? What was his role in extinguishing the Ku Klux Klan?
6. What does it mean to say that sunlight is the best disinfectant?
7. What is information asymmetry? Give an example not in the book?
8. Do physicians use asymmetry to sell additional, marginally needed tests? If so, what can society do about it?
9. Do real estate agents have your interests at heart? Why or why not?
10. Of all the ways to find information about potential mates, which works best for singles, and why?

(all) Read Ch. 3. Why do Drug dealers still Live with their Moms? Submit written answers to the following questions.

1. What is “conventional wisdom?” Who coined the term? Why is it not a compliment?
2. Consider each of the following statements. Can you characterize them as conventional wisdom? In other words, are the statements simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting, though not necessarily true?
a. Most people who receive free medical care do not appreciate it.
b. CEOs pay should be no more than seven times the pay of the lowest paid workers, just as in Japan.
c. Half of all babies born in the US are born to women who cannot afford to feed the child.
d. The CIA was the chief sponsor of the US crack trade.
e. You must be a baptized Christian to go to heaven.
3. Should you give a couple of bucks to the guy standing on the corner with a sign, “homeless and hungry”? Why or why not?
4. Consider this statement: In politics, it is usually more important what you say than what you do. For example, you can say I’m for the second amendment, then vote to ban assault rifles. I’m for a strong defense, and then vote against an expensive weapons system. I’m for lowering government spending, and then vote for a big expenditure in your district. Is this statement true? How do you know?
5. On page 103, JT responds to Venkatesh’s question, “Why not pay foot soldiers more?”
He says, “You try to take care of them, but you know, you also have to show them you the boss. You always have to get yours first, or else you really ain’t no leader. If you start taking losses, they see you as weak and shit.”

Is the same thing true of corporate America?

6. Why would one become a crack dealer?
7. Is it true that wages are determined by these factors:
a. Number of people willing to do the job
b. The specialized skill the job requires
c. The unpleasantness of the job
d. The demand for services the job fulfills.
Which of these is the principal determinant of salaries of business professors? Is there action that business professors could take to raise their wage rates?

8. Is this statement true?
Crack was so dramatically destructive that if its effect is averaged for all black Americans, not just crack users and their families, you will see that the group’s postwar progress was not only stopped cold but was often knocked as much as ten years backward. (p. 113)

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply