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May 07, 2008


Ken Houghton

"Unlike the real Indiana Jones, Rob is extremely good in the class room too."

Uh, no; the real one scored well in the classroom as well. See especially the classroom scene in the third film ("X never, ever marks the spot"), where the students are fascinated by Dr. Jones (including the girl who writes something like "I love you" on her eyelids: decent trick with 1940s makeup).


hmm. but rice is the staple food of southern chinese, and wheat is that of northern chinese...if they are labled as giffen goods, then wouldn't corn tortilla fall into the same category?

Barkley Rosser

Sorry I do not have a link or exact cite, but somebody has argued for tortillas, although without the sort of controlled experiment reported on here. Some other commodities have been suggested as well, also without being able to overcome the identification problem, including the original suggestion of wheat that Marshall claimed Giffen suggested, although apparently Giffen never actually made the claim. Giffen never said anything about Irish potatoes, all the principles textbooks to the contrary. That confusion was due to some sloppy wording in one of Samuelson's editions of his textbook, which got misinterpreted, picked up, and then spread widely.

Nolan Miller

The paper Barkley is looking for is David McKenzie's "Are Tortillas a Giffen Good in Mexico?" from Economics Bulletin, 2002. McKenzie did not find evidence of Giffen, although the available data are not ideal. (So better data might show Giffen.) He has some interesting quotes that suggest people may be thinking along Giffen lines, including “I have no choice but to buy more tortillas and less meat, chicken and vegetables”
María Teresa Muñoz as quoted in TheWashington Post (p A11, Jan 12, 1999). See http://economicsbulletin.vanderbilt.edu/2002/volume15/EB-01O10003A.pdf

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