Intro to Microeconomics (fall 2014)

Welcome to the Dickinson Blog page for Prof. Tynan’s Introduction to Microeconomics classes. This is where you will post news articles relating to topics covered in class. Each post should include a brief description of the news article, an explanation of how it connects to the course material, and a link to the article (or brief podcast or video).

The first article, “Can Elephants Survive a Legal Ivory Trade? Debate Is Shifting Against It” from National Geographic focuses on the renewed debate over banning or allowing a legal ivory trade. The article mentions the role of expectations  in influencing market prices, determinants of market demand and supply, and the relationship between different markets for ivory (produced/raw and legal/illegal).


  1. Betsy Vuchinich Said,

    September 7, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    This article was extremely interesting and informative. While providing education on the value and market for ivory, it also explained the consequences this trade had for the elephants and the supply and demand of ivory. It seems that the easiest fix to this dilemma would be to ban the transportation, collection, and buying/selling of ivory, but it is important to note that by banning ivory, it will only make it increase in value and desirability. It seems that the best solution to this international trade problem is to monitor it very closely to avoid illegal possession or collection of elephant tusks. The most upsetting part of this article is the suffering of the elephant population because of the value of ivory; the poaching has reached havoc on the population of elephants. So hopefully by monitoring the ivory market, the elephant population will have time to recover and repopulate.

  2. reisners Said,

    September 7, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

    I found this article to be quite informative and horrifying. As a South African myself I personally find a lot of problems with this issue as it is one that strikes home, most recently when I was on a reserve, the bushmen actually were talking about the recent insurgence of poaching. This article however displayed both the possibility for a legal ivory trade alongside the pitfalls that would become more evident if this were able to happen. Although I found some of their points to be counter productive for instance when they talked about the sale from selling these tusks and then using them for conservationist uses to save elephants. I also see how economically it could make sense to legalize ivory trade, if it were monitored however I find it highly unlikely that there is any hope of there not being corruption in this market as most of these nations are not highly developed. However I do not believe that there is a way to properly stop all of the trade of ivory from occurring even now with stricter poaching laws it’s still a prevalent problem throughout Africa. I do not think that there is a correct decision on wether or not to legalize or keep it illegal to sell ivory, I think the only way to properly combat this problem is simply to protect the elephant and other ivory animals.

  3. Cassie Jimmink Said,

    September 8, 2014 @ 3:54 am

    I thought this article was very interesting yet heartbreaking. It goes to show how greedy people are for money and fortune. They will kill an elephant only for the ivory they will get out of it and the rest of the elephant body goes to waste. When connecting this to class we will look at the two sides. One side is that a life will be lost and the other side is that they people will make money out of it. We have to see if it is worth killing an innocent animal for the ivory if it is not worth the death then it should not be done. The sales of ivory should not be legal because they are just killing the animal so that they can fulfill their own greedy life styles.

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