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1. Unemployment in Russia
2. Montreal’s « cols bleus »
3. Wal-Mart and Rvs

1. Unemployment in Russia

Avant la chute du mur de Berlin, on a souvent proclamé que le chômage n'existait pas dans les pays de l'Est, c’est-à-dire que chaque travailleur avait un emploi. Cela pouvait toutefois mener à des aberrations, comme en a témoigné unrédacteur de l'hebdomadaire The Economist, qui s'est présenté à un hôtel moscovite à la fin des années quatre-vingt. Comme tous les autres clients, il a dû patienter pendant plus de deux heures afin d’obtenir un billet du seul réceptionniste en poste. Pour accéder à sa chambre, le client devait ensuite échanger le billet contre une clé auprès de la préposée de son étage, opération très rapidepuisqu’une préposée est postée à chacun des trente étages de l’hôtel.

À l'aide d'une courbe des possibilités de production, trouvez la combinaison des services hôteliers et des autres biens qui illustre le mieux cette situation. Justifiez brièvement votre réponse.

2. Montreal’s « cols bleus »

No work is getting done in Montreal. According to a recent report obtained by the Journal de Montréal, astudy undertaken at the end of January showed that 10 blue-collar workers had spent 90 hours filling 9 potholes.

A. Assume that this is not an isolated incident, and that this sort of on-the-job performance is the norm for a non-negligable portion of blue-collar workers. Illustrate this situation using a graph featuring a production possibilities frontier and social indifference curves. Explainthe features of your graph and you reasoning.

Note: You should use municipal services on the horizontal axis and other goods on the vertical axis for your graph.

B. In response to citizen pressure, Mayor Tremblay plans to impose new mechanisms to regulate work habits which should improve the effort of blue-collar workers on the job. Using your graph from part A, show the impact of thesenew management policies. Be sure to clearly explain any hypotheses.

C. Many observers feel that the situation is lost, and that the city should simply respond by firing all workers who are not doing their jobs since these workers add nothing to the services we receive. Supposing that this radical step is possible, illustrate this outcome on your graph from part A, and explain your reasoning.Suppose that all workers who lose their city jobs can find work in the private sector, but that the controls on their effort are much tighter. Suppose also that there is a slight decrease in taxes brought on by this change in policy. Make sure to clearly explain your answer and underlying hypotheses.

3. Wal-Mart and RVs*

Retailer Wal-Mart has decided to make the parking lots at all its USstores available free of charge to vacationers with recreational vehicles. The vacationers are, however, required to use the parking areas outside store business hours. This policy does not please campground owners, who are complaining of unfair competition and pressuring local elected officials to prohibit this practice. Based on the initial situation in the figure below, which brings together theproduction possibility curve and the collective indifference curve, illustrate graphically the impact of this offer from Wal-Mart in the following two cases:

• Case 1: There are no campgrounds near the Wal-Mart stores.

• Case 2: There are campgrounds near the Wal-Mart stores.

Briefly explain the economic reasoning behind your figures. Be specific.

In both cases, you will supposethat this offer from Wal-Mart is very popular with the RVers.

Note: You make two figures, one for each case. In both cases, take care to reproduce the initial situation carefully in your response booklet, and especially to illustrate and explain the final situation clearly.


* RVs: Recreational vehicles – self-propelled, motorized vehicles including motor homes, campers, etc....