Prof. Bryan Caplan

Econ 103

Spring, 2000


HW#1  (Please TYPE all answers).


1.  Gwartney and Stroup, problem 1.4 (p.20)


2.  Pick ONE of Bastiat's examples in "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen."  Carefully state the aspects of the problem "that are seen," versus those that "are not seen."  How might the policies of the current U.S. government be different if people took both kinds of effects into account? (1 paragraph)


3.  Briefly (1-2 sentences each) provide a purely selfish explanation for each of the following kinds of behavior.  You do not have to believe your explanation is correct.


a.  A doctor devotes 20 years of his life to find a cure for leukemia.

b.  Bill Gates gives computers to needy children.

c.  Bill Clinton tells an audience that "he feels their pain."

d.  Someone does Christmas collections for the Salvation Army.

e.  You give your friend a ride to the airport.


4.  What was the opportunity cost of doing this homework assignment? (2-3 sentences)


5.  Briefly (1-2 sentences each) use marginal analysis to explain the following:


a.  Why tenured professors at Harvard usually keep working hard, but tenured professors at lower-ranked schools often do not.

b.  Why I don't brush my teeth after a long plane flight.

c.  Why students often quit working in a class if they get 100% on the midterm.

d.  Why you are more likely to speed when other drivers are already speeding.

e.  Why anyone orders just one pizza from Pizza Hut.  (When you buy one pizza at Pizza Hut, the second is half price!)