Quantitative Problems

1.
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Suppose that there are two tasks (1 and 2) and two workers (A and B). Assume that worker A's ability is and that worker B's is . Characterize their absolute and comparative advantages in performing the two tasks.
2.
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There are two tasks (1 and 2) and two workers— (B)etsy and (D)ougal. If Betsy and Dougal work flat-out on task 1 then they can, respectively, accomplish 200 and 100 units of that task. Alternatively, if they work flat-out on task 2 then they can, respectively, accomplish 200 and 50 units of that one. By dividing their time they can accomplish any task levels that lie between these two extremes. Describe their absolute and comparative advantages in performing these tasks. Depict their combined task possibility frontier.
3.
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In Problem 2, suppose that output, y, depends on the levels of the two tasks carried out according to . How should the firm optimally allocate Dougal and Betsy to the two tasks?
4.
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Under what circumstances should the firm allocate workers to different tasks on the basis of absolute advantage considerations?
5.
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In Figure 15.3, the line represents the efficient task possibility frontier that arises from exploiting the comparative advantage differences between workers A and B. Depict the frontier that would arise if the firm misallocated workers and (starting from point ) assigned worker B to task 2, rather than worker A.
6.
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Explain why systemwide complementarities are so important for optimal organizational design. What are the primary obstacles that hinder the adoption of new organizational methods?

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