Markets in everything, Freakonomics style

A student is selling his spot in Steve Levitt’s Economics of Crime class.

The pointer is from Alec Brandon.  And via Michelle, here is another installment in the Markets in Everything series.  And here is yet another installment, I would call it obvious ("markets in food," can you believe that?) but apparently not to Professor Houston at Brown University.


Is he/she only selling the opportunity to take the class, not actually to receive a grade on a transcript?

I am under the impression that typically the person at the top of the waiting list gets in as soon as someone drops, not whoever the person who drops chooses as a replacement.

He's a humanities professor, and is thus born knowing of the innate goodness of command economies.

Jake, in computerized registration systems in use at the two universities I've attended there are no waiting lists. As soon as one person drops the first person to log on to the system and request the open slot gets it. My peers and I arranged many (uncompensated) swaps by synchronizing the drop/add process at odd times of day.

Thanks for the clarification, Dylan. That doesn't seem like a very good way to do it.

Mr. Cowen -- do you follow virtual economies at all? Linden Labs has banned virtual banking in Second Life due to the prevalence of ponzi schemes. So right now there's a run on funds as customers try to get their money out before the ban takes effect.

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