Friday, August 24, 2007

Dance, Monkey. DANCE!

Alex Tabarrok has a great idea: make those who seek to exercise power over us participate in a game show so they can prove themselves before we're saddled with them.

It's interesting to speculate on how the UK's leaders and would-be-leaders would perform in the games Alex suggests.

Coase it Out: Presidential candidates have 12 hours to get a bitterly divorcing couple to divide their assets in a mutually agreeable manner.  (Bonus points are awarded if the candidate convinces the couple to stay together.)

I suspect David Cameron would do better at this than Gordon Brown. As one of Alex's commenters points out, however, giving bonus points for convincing a couple who hate each other to stay together may not be optimal. However, it would be precisely the skillset needed to bring a treaty negotiation to a close

Spot the Fraud:  Presidential candidates are provided with an economic scenario (mortgage defaults are up, hedge funds are crashing, liquidity is tight).  Three experts propose plans.  The candidate must choose one of the plans.  After the candidate chooses, the true identities of the "experts" are revealed. One is a trucker, another a scuba diver instructor and the last a distinguished economist.  Which did the candidate choose? 

My take on this is that Gordon Brown would know the right answer and David Cameron wouldn't. However, and this is the problem with Alex's scheme, that doesn't mean he would do what he knew to be the correct thing!

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