Listen this episode of the Planet Money podcast, Summer School 2: Markets and Pickles. You can find it on your phone and listen while you fold laundry (it’s 31 minutes).
Respond each of the following prompts. Total response should be 100-200 words (due 4/11)
1. Explain how the food banks improved efficiency by creating a market system to allocate food.
2. Each food bank was given “money” (shares) based on need and number of clients served. How does that differ from how a real market works, and what effect does that have on distribution/allocation? Which method do you think is better?
3. One main topic of the podcast is whether market forces are the best way to allocate scarce resources. A major debate going on these days is how much market forces should be used in allocating resources in education (for example should all schools be private) and health care (other wealthy nations have national health care, not the largely private system we use the US). Choose one of these areas (education or health care) and briefly explain why you think markets should or should not be used.