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Green Blog: The Economic Efficiency of the Last Mango

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Feb 12, 2013    •    532 Views

By Amy Tourgee, guest blogger

Jambo from Kenya again this week! The class has finally reached our destination: the beautiful Mpala Research Centre where we can see elephants grazing across the river from our rooms and giraffes line the side of the road as you drive by. It really is amazing.

It’s not all relaxation though – we go into the field a lot to conduct experiments and gather data (I’m scared of bugs yet I’m surrounded by nature, so that’s fun).  But it gets really amusing when we play the Lion King soundtrack while writing our lab reports… even more amusing when we try to sing the song “Circle of Life.”

What was a great surprise about coming here though is that the fruit is really fresh and delicious.  Every night, the staff brings cut-up mango for desert, which causes some problems between the classmates.  There are 12 of us, but they bring us 15 or 16 pieces every night, which inevitably initiates a fight among us about who will be able to eat the extra pieces.

We ended up with a rotation system, but that’s not exactly economic efficiency…

Economic Lesson

If we think about this problem in terms of economics, efficiency in consumption states that we need to allocate resources so that the person who gets the last unit values it the most.  So, assuming no one has a vitamin deficiency and NEEDS the fruit, who enjoys the mango the most?

That would be me.

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