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Economics and spam

Vikram reads Michael's Blog. Michael happens to a Economics whiz. Michael applies Classical Economics to propose a solution to the global malaise of email spam.

Vikram is studying Economics and gets the following question on his final exam.

5. (10 points) If you use email, you have almost surely received spam. Spam is almost free to the sender, while generating a cost on consumers and internet providers. For example, according to a February 13. 2005, New York Times article, "Hotmail alone catches about 3.2 billion messages a day."

(a) What economic concept most closely describes the spam phenomenon? Why?

(b) Describe one solution that would alleviate the spam problem and be consistent with the goal of maximum total surplus for society?

Vikram answers (b) using Michael's excellent post on the same topic.

While we, students of premier B-schools in India still answer questions like
  • "Explain the classical Prisoners' Dilemma problem"
  • "What is meant by a zero sum game. Elaborate with examples."
  • "Explain the XYZ effect on prices in a Bertrand model of competition"
or some such stuff.

Point being, if we, the future leaders of corporate India are not made to apply theoretical concepts taught in class to problems that we will need to grapple with in real life, like Michael did and Vikram learnt and wrote, what is the point of all this incredibly hectic teaching and studying ?

The very idea that classical economics concepts can be used to think of ways to solve the problem of email spam is something that will probably not even occur to a lot of my colleagues in B-schools of India.

An MBA, more than any other qualification, is about life-skills, abilities to navigate through uncertainty, capabilities of thinking out-of-the-box to arrive at solutions to problems that could not even have occurred a few years back. It is imperative that every word taught in this course is stored as a potent tool in the minds of the students, to be used when the need arises.

The objective of the manager, to solve the problem, must be achieved by using an optimal mix of all these tools. The decision of which tools to use will become more and more accurate and precise with experience and familiarity with the tools, here the concepts and theories taught to him.

Unless some progress happens on this front, a B-school in India will increasingly become a "safe" haven for HR staff all over corporate India to recruit talent, not the best suited to their profiles, but the "safest" they can get due to the assurance provided by the fact that the students have cleared CAT, XAT etc.

I love your information on email marketing! I bookmarked your blog and will be back soon. If you want, check out my blog on email marketing secrets, please come by!

Regards,

Don

P.S. I have a free email marketing site. It pretty much covers free email marketing related stuff.

Check it out if you get time :-)

Intresting Post
Feel free to visit
Advanced Business Marketing
For mor tips.
Feel free to leave your Comments.

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