Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Monday, March 02, 2009
Co-author Dennis W. points me to a fascinating story from 2007:
The state-owned New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) surveyed prices in the north-eastern state of Gombe and found that a good quality machete was now selling for 400 naira ($3.50) compared with 800 naira ($7) before the elections, which were marred by politically motivated violence in many states.In one sense the story is dated but in another the story is timeless. Demand shifts can occur for any number of reasons one of which is expectations (see chapter 4 of Microeconomics Demystified!). In the case of Nigerian thugs, they did not expect their services to be in much demand after the election and therefore the demand for one of the primary capital tools they use fell. The reverse is happening now in the United States, as the demand for long guns and 10+ magazine semi-auto handguns has spiked since the election (up 30-50% in most cases) and I am sure they have spiked again since our "attorney general" suggested they were going to press for reinstating the "assault weapon" ban.
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