Archive for the ‘Discussion prompt’ Category

Farmers Hack Their Equipment to Evade Tractor Company Policies   Leave a comment

Statewide Drought Forces Californians To Take Drastic Measures For Water ConversationLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/03/27/tech/farmers-hack-their-equipment-evade-tractor-company-policies

Summary: Farmers are hacking into their own tractors in order to fix them, rather than pay for a dealer to fix it for them.  Marketplace introduces this situation and explains why tractor owners aren’t satisfied with this developing market concentration in the repair market and what they hope to do about it. .

Original Air Date: March 27, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 2 seconds

Discussion Question: What impact does forcing tractor owners to go through dealers for repairs do for competition in the market? Who benefits from this system more, the owner or the dealer?

Why Do We Tip?   Leave a comment

tipping-71e24965a60e3a967405193ceb365075c19afd1d-s1600-c85.jfifLink:   http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/01/20/463726763/episode-283-why-do-we-tip

Summary: Tipping has become a staple in many industries in today’s society.  The common belief is that with better service results in a better tip.  Planet Money discusses whether a tip really is an incentive to give better service, or if it is now expected regardless of service.

Original Air Date: January 20, 2016

Length: 17 minutes 36 seconds

Discussion Question: Is it unethical to not give a tip if good service was given? Or is it unethical to expect a tip given it is a loss for the consumer? Discuss the incentives and utility for both the consumer and employee regarding tips.

The Miracle Apple   Leave a comment

honeycrisp-5c3b641931b075344e3419366ffbd570686d8cee-s1600-c85-jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/10/12/497697621/episode-627-the-miracle-apple

Summary: Years ago, the only classifications for apples was based on color: red, green or yellow.  Planet Money discusses how one researcher from Minnesota changed the apple market by introducing an apple that was actually tasty for retail consumers.

Original Air Date: October 12, 2016

Length: 14 minutes 7 seconds

Discussion Question: By putting a patent or a trademark on a type of apple, how does that affect supply and demand? How does it affect competition in the market?

The Longest Long Shot   Leave a comment

leicesterLink: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/leicester-city/

Summary: What if the odds of finding Elvis Presley alive were 5000 to 1? You could have had those same odds if you bet on Leicester City to win the most watched soccer league.  Freakonomics discusses the near-impossible story of how this little club pulled off the biggest upset in an environment that rewards those who spend.

Original Air Date: May 25, 2016

Length: 45 minutes 15 seconds

Discussion Question: What behavior is being encouraged by the structure of the English league? Compare it with an American league.  How is competition affected?

The Cheeseburger Diet   Leave a comment

pc-cheeseburger-dubner-burger-300x225Link: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-cheeseburger-diet-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

Summary: In response to the infamous documentary Super Size Me, one woman toured her local area in search for the best burger.  Shockingly, she didn’t gain a single pound despite eating two burgers a week.  Freakonomics discusses the surprising results.

Original Air Date: December 10, 2015

Length: 34 minutes 21 seconds

Discussion Question: What role does utility play in this situation? Will satisfaction of the second burger eaten  always be the same? Explain.

Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing   Leave a comment

textbooksLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/03/353300404/episode-573-why-textbook-prices-keep-climbing

Summary: Something strange is going on in the textbook market. The price has steeply increased over the past decade–and they’re only getting higher. There is a disconnect between the chooser (the professors) and the buyers (the students). Technically, the professor is the consumer, and they’re spending their students’ money. The podcast offers the opposite: high school textbooks, where costs are kept low because the books are paid for by the schools.

Original Air Date: October 3, 2014

Length: 14 minutes 56 seconds

Discussion Question/ Prompt: Propose a solution to the rising textbook price problem. (Example: a price ceiling? professor awareness of prices? incentives for lower prices?)

How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil   Leave a comment

nigerian stolen oilLink: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/29/359624435/episode-578-how-to-steal-a-million-barrels-of-oil

Summary: The Nigerian Internet hosts many ads for stolen oil, inspiring the question: how? Why?  Nigeria has one of the top oil reserves, and it is controlled by the government. They lose about $10 million a day from oil theft. This podcast dissects how they get away with it.

Original Air Date: October 29, 2014

Length: 19 minutes 30 seconds

Discussion Question: The podcasts says that this problem is for the Nigerian government to solve. Should it be an international issue?

Prompt: The podcast does not reflect on the legally sold oil, and the effect the stolen oil has on that market. Write how you think the stolen oil would change the market for legal crude oil in the international arena, paying specific attention to the quantity and the prices.