June 25, 2007

News & Opinion: Interesting economics

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:12 PM – Filed under: Current Events & Public Affairs

If all economics classes had a professor like Robert Frank, economics might be a bit more hip. Professor Frank commences his classes by asking students to apply economics to real-world issues.
These questions and their answers now make up his recently published book, The Economic Naturalist. Over at another famous economics site you'll find a few excerpts including this one:
Why do fast food places promise a free meal if you aren't given a receipt at the time of purchase?
To deter theft, owners of restaurants and other retail establishments require cashiers to reconcile the total amount of cash collected during their shift with the total volume of sales rung up at their register...One way cashiers can circumvent this control is by neglecting to ring up a proportion of their transactions...Thus if a cashier failed to ring up a customer's $20 meal, he or she could pocket the $20 without creating an accounting discrepancy...By offering a complimentary meal to anyone who fails to receive a receipt, owners provide an economic incentive for customers to monitor cashiers for free.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.