Monkey markets in everything, game theory edition

by on May 24, 2012 at 1:41 am in Economics | Permalink

With the city’s trapping program a failure, some residents are getting a bigger monkey, a langur, to urinate around their homes. The acrid smell of the urine scares the smaller rhesus monkeys away for weeks.

…”Mr. Singh said that he had 65 langurs urinating on prominent homes and buildings throughout Delhi. He and his partners feed and walk each monkey during the day, but they remain tied to their posts overnight. He charges about $200 a month.

Here is more, and for the pointer I thank Umung Varma.

1 Frank May 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

What about some barbecued rhesus pieces for the economist foodie? Two problems, one delicious solution.

2 John Fast May 24, 2012 at 2:27 am

They probably also scare away the smaller monkeys from the sight and scent of langur feces as well as urine.

As the saying goes, “Monkey pee, monkey doo.”

3 Steve Sailer May 24, 2012 at 2:34 am

But then they’ll have to get chimpanzees to scare away the monkeys, then gorillas to scare away the chimps, and yetis to scare away the gorillas.

4 TGGP May 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm
5 Dan Collins May 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

Off topic sorry, and I know a) others will have suggested this and b) there are probably very good reasons why it wouldn’t work (as a non economist I don’t know them, hence the question).

As I understand it, Greece can’t stay in the Euro as it is because it’s uncompetitive and if it leaves and goes to the drachma the devaluation would be so huge and catastrophic that different problems would occur. (Personally, as an amateur, I think they would recover quickly and the Euro has always been a disaster waiting to happen, but I acknowledge I am not qualified to back this up as more than a mildly educated hunch.) Germany is not prepared to underwrite Greek debts, and then Spanish, Italian and ultimately French, either.

Could Tyler or Alex explain to the average simpleton like myself why there couldn’t be some sort of second division Euro created for the PIIGS which IS backed by the Germans/ECB but is fixed at say 25% of the Euro proper?

Thanks, Dan

6 8 May 24, 2012 at 3:45 am

Don’t the Indians have a lot of pharmaceutical companies? No need to catch monkeys for experiments, just hand out drugs at the park.

7 dearieme May 24, 2012 at 4:00 am

Let’s not have any “Delhi is piss poor” jokes here. It would elevate the tone.

8 liberalarts May 24, 2012 at 7:43 am

What is the game theory angle here?

9 IVV May 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

Once the neighbors hire the langurs, the best solution is to hire the langurs, too. Otherwise, you get all the rhesus.

On the other hand, it’s probably great work for the langurs. They get to walk around swank neighborhoods, thinking, “Boo-yeah, that pad’s all mine.”

Unless there’s a game-theory angle applicable to langurs; maybe it’s better to keep them confused about which langur owns which house.

10 Mike May 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I thought it was going to be something about the langur-renters releasing more rhesus monkeys around to drive business

11 Peter Metrinko May 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

Such a service might be replicated in the U.S. as a weapon in institutions with a lot of bureaucratic infighting. Bureaucrats are always leaving their little marks on documents, and in policy disputes. Why not just hire a langur to keep someone at bay?

12 Rahul May 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Would the supply-chain logistics be more efficient if they stabled the langurs and transported and peddled bottled urine?

OTOH, since this is India I foresee a counterfeit langur urine market emerge.

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