Identifying “transaction” costs related to exchange and efficiency. This is an economics problem.


I am enrolled in Property and Liability: An Introduction to Law and Economics, a six-week course offered by “coursera.” This is a free online course presented by Wesleyan University. I am taking the course for self-interest, and do not intend to purchase a “Certificate,” available upon successful completion of the course. Each module requires a pass rate of 80%. I got through the quiz for Unit 1 (Week 1), but have been stuck on the quiz for Unit 2 (Week 2), and despite a number of efforts I have only been able to correctly answer the same 7 of 10 questions (70%), which is less than the required 80% to move along to Unit 3. Unfortunately, no assistance and no study group is available to offer guidance. Here is the link to the course

The question that I am having trouble with is as follows, and one of the issues I’ve been unable to determine is whether there is more than one correct answer to each question. I have never encountered a question that is, in my opinion, so diverse and convoluted. Here is the question that I have not been able to answer correctly:

Q.1: Which of the following are sources of transaction costs (deals with Exchange and Efficiency)?

  • Tom would like to buy a particular kind of shirt, but will have to search all the many clothing stores in town to find what he wants at the lowest price.
  • A manager wants to hire a new employee for her company, and has found a suitable person who wants the job. But they’re finding it hard to agree on what the new employee will be paid.
  • “Order your new slicer now for just $29.99! Add $.4.95 for shipping and handling.”
  • A dispute over wages has led to a three-week strike at the steel plant.
  • A grocer sell[s] oranges, but allows customers to handle the oranges before they decide to buy. As a result, 5% of the oranges are damaged and can’t be sold.
  • Kate doesn’t like tuna fish very much, so the price of tuna, $2 per can, is more than she’s willing to pay for it.
  • Jack won’t do business with people who don’t share his political views, and sometimes has to pay more for things as a result.
  • Barbara has been having breakfast every day at her favorite coffee shop for so long that the waiters know exactly what to serve her each morning.
  • “I know I need a new car, but I just can’t afford one right now.”
  • A hardware store bought 1000 snow shovels in anticipation of a stormy winter, but in fact almost no snow fell and the store could sell only 300 shovels.
  • Charlie just won the lottery, and he’s quit his job because, as he says, “they couldn’t pay me enough to work there anymore!”

A solution to this problem would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Tony

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