1. Explain how, in a barter economy, a toilet paper manufacturer would have a little easier time bartering compared to a violinmaker. Use another example of your own creation to support your answer.
2. Many people believe that in the event of another oil crisis brought on by conflict in the Middle East or elsewhere, the government should ration gasoline by the criterion of need. How would you propose that the rationing authorities determine need?
3. The rent-control ordinances that cities sometimes enact usually try to restrict rent increases to the amount of the owners’ cost increases. Use the analysis of this module in thinking about the following questions.
A. What is the cost to a landlord of renting an apartment to you for $500 if someone else is willing to pay $600? What is the benefit of renting to you?
B. What effect will a rent-control ordinance have on the cost to landlords of letting an apartment unit stand idle, or of using it themselves, or of allowing relatives to live in it rent-free?
C. What concept of cost do you think supporters of rent controls have in mind when they speak of basing maximum rents on landlords’ costs?
D. Mortgage payments reflect the cost of purchasing a building, and hence can usually be included as legitimate costs when landlords operating under a rent-control law request rent increases. What determines the cost to a potential landlord of purchasing an apartment building?
E. The costs of purchasing fuel for heating purposes can always be included as legitimate costs when landlords request rent increases. What determines fuel prices?
F. Suppose a landlord rents space in a nearby parking lot and makes it available to his tenants. If the demand for parking space in the area rises, he will probably have to pay more to rent parking spaces. Why would a rent-control commission be more likely to grant the landlord’s request for a rent increase based on the increased demand for parking than for one based on the increased demand for rental housing itself?
4. Alcohol is illegal in the dorms at Acme College. Why are students more likely to sneak in a couple bottles of, say, tequila rather than cases of beer, even though most would rather drink beer than tequila?