Other Politics

Asking for a Raise? Avoid Round Numbers

That's the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal Article.

"In one experiment, Ms. Mason and her team had 130 sets of people negotiate the price of a used car. When buyers suggested a round anchor, they ended up paying an average of $2,963 more than their initial offer. But buyers who suggested a precise number for a first offer paid only $2,256 more, on average, than that number in the end.

"Political scholars fiddle while Rome burns"

So reads the title of Lawrence Martin's recent op ed in the Globe and Mail.

In essence, Martin laments the passing from public life of some of the giants of Canadian political science, such as John Meisel, George Perlin, Hugh Thorburn, and Richard Simeon (I would add Peter Russell!) and the lack of new scholars taking their place.  What should we make of his argument? Is he right?

Flipping a Coin: 50/50 Odds? Nope!

From the article:

"Imagine you’re at a bar and another patron offers you the following wager. He’s going to flip a coin — a standard U.S. penny like the ones seen above — a dozen or so times. If it comes up heads more often than tails, he’ll pay you $20. If it comes up tails more than heads, you pay him the same. There are no hidden tricks. It’s a fair bet — safe to take, if you’re looking for a 50/50 chance.