27.4.17

INSTITUTIONS EVOLVE TO CONSERVE ON TRANSACTION COSTS.

The Social Justice Warriors come to mathematics class, warns Accuracy in Academia's Malcolm Kline.
“On a chilly evening in March, students in Cecilia Arias’s mathematics course here at Rutgers University were learning about a concept called fair division,” Shannon Najmabadi wrote in an article which appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education on April 21, 2017. “More specifically, they were considering the case of Jason, Kelly, and Lauren, three business owners who share a location in the mall.”

“Suppose, Ms. Arias explained, that Jason makes the same amount of money each month, while Kelly gets not business in October, November or December. Meanwhile, Lauren earns most of her profits during that same quarter. If only one of them can use the space at a time, Ms. Arias asked, how can the year by fairly divided among the three without an angry standoff?” The name of the course is “Topics in Mathematics for the Liberal Arts.”
I was not able to find that article at the house organ for business as usual in higher education, although there might have been a related one that went behind the paywall on April 18.

The problem reminds me of one from Alchian and Allen's University Economics, in which economics students get the opportunity to suggest a way to calculate percentages that doesn't involve erroneous economics.  The solution involves Jason running a business with no seasonal variations, Lauren running something that I shall interpret as a Christmas-themed business, and Kelly deals in gardening supplies or something similar.  If you allow for the sub-leasing of space, Jason contracts out space to Kelly for nine months and Lauren for three months.  And why would these three enter into joint ownership of a space without considering the seasonal variations in their business in the first place?

1 comment:

Dave Tufte said...

"... Why would these three enter into joint ownership of a space without considering the seasonal variations in their business in the first place?"

Isn't that the point of social justice? Correcting decisions and outcome that were optimal at the time, but which you now regret, through the political system. (And please don't let any of those nasty economists get involved at this point).