Professor Stenard + Study = Economic Insight

Do as I say and live a good life.


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The unexpected day off

Posted by Joe Stenard on February 9, 2010 at 10:48 PM Comments comments (0)

This Wednesday is Faculty Workshop Day - and with it a suspension of normal classes.  As economical thinkers we are aware of the value of a day - it is the most precious resource we have.  We weigh our options and choose to spend those 24 hours in a way where we anticipate the greatest benefit.  Some go for productivity and others go for leisure.  The essence of the decision here is "What is the best way to spend this day?"

Super Bowl Sunday

Posted by Joe Stenard on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

It was this games crucial play:  The ONSIDE KICK!


Instead of returning the ball to the Colts as expected, Coach Payton surprised everyone by trying a very risky play.  It turned out well for the Saints but it could have been humiliating and been recorded as notoriously foolhardy.  The point I focus on here is not the outcome, but the decision process.


Consider the risks:

use a punter who has never tried this in a NFL game and has only 10 days of practice

he doesn't know if the other team knows what he is attempting

the onside kick is successful less than 30% of the time.

the team is already a little behind - this could be much worse


Consider the potential benefit:

Deny possession, conserve time on the clock, better field position


I like that economics is a part of things I already enjoy.

Cartoons are Economical

Posted by Joe Stenard on February 8, 2010 at 2:03 PM Comments comments (0)

This paper sent in from an alert member:

If you like economics and like the funny papers then you will love this pdf.

Weekend Homework

Posted by Joe Stenard on February 6, 2010 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

February 6, 2010

Even the professor has work to do over the weekend.  I am creating this website, preparing something special for my students, customizing the exam to reflect the most recent student presentations, grading papers and writing papers.  

I am reminded of the economic principle of cost/benefit analysis: I perceive a high benefit for all concerned (a win-win situation) but also a large up front cost (in the terms of time consumed and opportunity cost).  There are many different ways I might benefit from another use of my resources but I am willing to take on a high, short-run cost in exchange for a good chance for a recurring high, long-run benefit. Thus, the evidence of my decision is before your eyes.

I hope my students will maximize all of their resources - especially their hours, days and years.  Perhaps they will consider their costs and benefits more often because of our discussions.