David R. Henderson  

George Mason University's Economics in Action

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Denver Post's Media Bias, Part... Crusade, Denial, or Concerned ...

David Chandler Thomas is a Ph.D. student in George Mason University's economics program. I had highly recommended him to the program after having been his thesis advisor. (San Jose State University, where he earned his Masters' degree had asked me to do so.)

David reported the following story.

Conversation with one of my Environmental Economics students at the final exam regarding the two large plates of cookies I made for the students.

Student: Are these cookies a common pool resource?
Me: I suppose.
Student: In that case there is about to be a tragedy of the commons.
Me: This class has certain social norms.
Student: I will not see them again so I don't care about social norms.
Me: You forget that I have not graded your exam yet and I assure you that sequential game theory will apply.


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COMMENTS (6 to date)
Musca writes:

"First, class, assume two plates of cookies..."

John B. writes:

Of course the real game the student is playing is "See, Professor, I learned how to understand situations as games describable in economics jargon". In other words, actually eating too many cookies is a bad move, but observing that eating too many cookies is a "tragedy of the commons" is a good move.

Karnak writes:

Student: How about the sequential game theory of a capricious grading complaint?

Sinclair Davidson writes:

So you grade your students on criteria other than academic merit?

Jacob A. Geller writes:

@Sinclar Davisdson, touché, touché...

David's threat is non-credible. Student can eat all the cookies he likes without consequence, unless he fears a Quivering Hand outcome... ;-)

Michael Tontchev writes:

He could use social ostracism to make a point to an arrogant student...

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