Saturday, January 31, 2009

Economics of Odd Stuff

My fellows here think that economics can help to understand, among others, these following: Why Asians are good at math; why relatively there are more New York celebrities with dogs than Virginia-suburbanites; and how you assign dishwashing chore amongst family members.

Those are some very preliminary thought in a submitted two-pages first assignment. But probably some of them would evolve into a good, and surely intriguing, paper.

In case you want to know my proposal (maybe not), it's the economics of rainmaker --why many Indonesians resort to believe in rainmaker and Americans CNN's weather report (or something like that).


  1. now that's econ we love, dude

  2. Co, indeed, mate. Although some people on the other side would clench their fist and call it an economic imperialism :-)

    Well, maybe they are right (or wrong).

  3. Good topic. Show them that economic is a beneveolant dictator :-)

  4. and who are these people on the 'other' side, rizal? :D

    i think the problem lies in the scope of explanation given by the econ approach. the incentive approach is fruitful so long as the problem at hand involves rational decision-making procedure.

    but some things are not of this kind, and so to frame them as such would be misleading at best, and wrong at worst.

  5. i think the irony is that some economists would laugh and dismiss physics imperialism (e.g., econophysics) on the ground that physicists don't know enough economics.

    now, more economists are doing exactly the same thing with respect to other social sciences.

    but of course there are economists (and physicists as well) who have done their homework before take a plunge to a subject matter that they're not familiar; and so give new and useful insights.

    personally, i think imperialism (e.g. gary becker) is not useful, but interdisciplinary (e.g., thomas schelling) is what we need.