Applications Using Elasticity
In this video, we take a look at real-world applications of elasticity, using the examples of slave redemption in Sudan and and the effects of gun buyback programs
In this video, we take a look at real-world applications of elasticity, using the examples of slave redemption in Sudan and and the effects of gun buyback programs in the U.S.
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Do police buy-back programs typically offer to buy guns at a price that was higher than the market price for old guns before the program began? If so, and if the local price of guns is perfectly elastic (as the video claims), we should expect most police buy-back programs to keep buying guns until their budgets are exhausted. Does this in fact happen?
If police departments typically offer a price that is at or below the previous market price for old guns, the people who sell their guns to the police will be people who are motivated by considerations other than price. They're willing to sell to the police, but they're unwilling to sell on the private market for an equal (or greater) price. Who might have that attitude? Perhaps someone who has an old gun, doesn't really want a gun anymore, doesn't want to sell the gun to a shady character on the private market, can't be troubled to turn the gun over to the police for free, but would happily get rid of the gun if paid to do so safely.
This makes me think that police buy-back programs that offer a below-market price for old guns might be effective at reducing the supply of guns among unenthusiastic gun owners (e.g. people who inherited guns). The programs might thereby reduce accidental gun deaths. They might also reduce the rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Am I missing something?
I'm thinking because the global supply must be quite inelastic (maybe poaching can increase a bit, perhaps there is some ivory in collections that would be sold if the price increases, but I can't think of any other source) these events may be more effective than slave redemption or gun buybacks.
Why wait until Chapter 5 to talk about the price system? I think it fits better either just before Supply and Demand or just after.