Re: [OPE] US wheat market - perfectly competitive?

Date: Thu Dec 16 2010 - 07:36:45 EST

> The myth is in many (most?) text-books, it even creeps
> into Stiglitz otherwise excellent "Nobel" prize lecture etc. etc.

Hi Anders:
Most everything which is in one introductory economics text is in all
others! There was a scholarly article published years ago which showed
basically that they all plagiarize each other! (Michael P would recall
the exact citation, I think, because he noted it previously).
In any event, the reason it's in the texts is (I think) curious: if
you teach market structures, including perfect competition, then students
will ask for - and demand! - examples. I have my own way of dealing with
this: after going over the characteristics of a perfectly competitive
market, I ask _them_ for examples and tell that that whatever they suggest
I'll write on the board and we'll discuss afterwards. Then - one by one -
I'll explain to them in no uncertain terms why every single example
they gave is wrong. This will eventually lead them to ask (sometimes
with exasperation): what _is_ an example of perfect competition? I
won't answer that question directly but it usually leads into a discussion
on the meaning of capitalist ideology.
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Thu Dec 16 07:38:10 2010

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