It is interesting what one learns from asking for frivolous information. I was surprised by how popular Chipotle was as a food preference, so I did a stock lookup for them. Their price was much higher a year ago. I wonder why. In any event, if the popularity within the class is indicative of a broader based strong demand, perhaps there is an investment opportunity there for those of you who do that sort of thing.
Decisions for Tuesday
There are two issues pending for the class to decide by next Tuesday. One is about the seating and along with it the mode in which we interact. I did realize about an hour into the session today that if we stay with the horseshoe seating and keep to discussion mode that I need some crib sheet to remind me how to steer the conversation. The other issue is about whether electronic devices should be put away or available during class. If you'd like to indicate your preference to me electronically, you can email me that. Otherwise I'll poll the class about it on Tuesday.
Also note that you are supposed to be sending me the link to your blog in the next day or so and that you should have a post up about the economist who is the basis for your alias.
The Economics in Today's Discussion
Now I want to turn to the economics in our discussion today by considering two different things. The first is to view Simon's research as providing a gateway for behavioral economics and to better understand the psychological underpinnings of decision making. There has been much written on this by now, but I wonder how much students have been exposed to these ideas. Here I will content myself with just one concept, which is kind of the obverse for search. It is called WYSIATI (What you see is all there is). The decision maker (mistakenly) assumes there is nothing to learn by gathering more information so goes with his gut. Once in a while this is actually right because a real search would be unproductive. But many times people decide too quickly and would be better off getting more information. Such people need to be educated to be less impulsive in making a choice. That's a long process.
The other thing is to reconsider the student moral hazard and use that as an example for our upcoming topic - transaction costs. In this case, the issue is that while I am posting PowerPoint slides which have quite a bit of discussion in them in the notes area, that students could access before class so they are ready for the live class session, students don't seem to be doing that. This became obvious today when I asked about whether students had heard the term satisficing. (I've checked and there is no "y" in the spelling of that word.) Most indicated it was new to them, but in fact it is mentioned and discussed in the PowerPoint for the session.
Further, Box.com provides me with access data. Here is the information for the pptx file. Note that the two downloads at 12:22 today were by me in the classroom, as I was giving a demo to a student who had just added the class, and I accidentally clicked the download button a second time.