Friday, September 12, 2014

Before Next Tuesday's Class

I have just started to read your posts that are due today.  When you've gotten my comments, please think about them some and then write a response, also as a comment.  Partly, this is to see how you are processing what we've been talking about.

I am deliberately belaboring our discussion on transaction costs, in part because it is the heart of the matter so it would be good for you to have a solid understanding of transaction costs, and in part because the way you learn concepts in other classes may not be a good way to learn them here.  Here you must see whether the concepts make sense to you by applying them to situations you've experienced.

I want to make Tuesday's class a kind of collective response to your posts.  So I don't know yet how we'll proceed then.  I'll try to decide that over the weekend.  In general, the sessions on Tuesdays will very much depend on what you write in your posts before that session.  So the general idea is action (your posts) and then reaction (class discussion).  Therefore one other way to prepare for class might be to read some of the posts by your classmates and the comments there.  Yet at present you have no guide as to which ones to read.  So for this time around it will be hit or miss.

I would also like to foreshadow for you the prompt next week, which is about opportunism.  In the context of classroom exams, cheating is an example of opportunism.  We said that proctoring is an example of a transaction cost, as it aims to deter cheating.   You might consider what other sorts of transaction costs emerge out of a need to discourage opportunistic behavior.

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