Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Monkey Business

I found a free repost of the NYTimes article, "Monkey Business," by Dubner and Levitt, the authors of the recently popular Freakonomics. The free copy can be found here, and it's FASCINATING.

The gist is that they train monkeys to use money in exchange for food. It turns out that the monkeys obey classical human microeconomics. On top of that, even though the monkeys are just trading the money for food, when food is given to them in the same shape as the money, the monkeys use the food as money rather than food. Perhaps most interesting is that the monkeys actually start to trade sex for money as well. The monkey receiving the money then immmediately redeems it for food.

It's really interesting stuff.

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