Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Cobra Effect (Listening)

The audio recording below is a segment from an economics podcast (radio programme) called "Freakanomics." Their goal is to present financial and statistical concepts in an interesting way.

This particular programme is focused on the unintended consequences of trying to control human behaviour. We can apply this information to governmental policies on city planning, drug use, and the environment.

Before listening, make sure that you understand the following vocabulary:

rationing          implement          scheme          regulation

incentive          go awry            backfire        rescind

sewer              unintended         undermine       prestige

bounty             pitch in           drought         bait

I recommend using an ENGLISH dictionary to find out the meaning and pronunciation of each word. You can find an excellent online dictionary HERE.

The section is 30 minutes with a brief break for advertisement at the beginning and in the middle. This may seem long, but remember that the IELTS listening section lasts 40 minutes, so the ability to listen for long periods is truly invaluable!

After listening, consider the following questions and think about what you could say to answer them. Remember to form your answers in a complete sentence!

1. Briefly describe why the concept is called "The Cobra Effect." Why is it called "The Cobra Effect"?

2. What other animal pests underwent similar situations as cobras? Where did these problems take place?

3. Why did the population of pigs at Fort Benning actually increase rather than decrease?

4. What incentive scheme did the UN offer in an attempt to decrease greenhouse gases?

5. How does the Endangered Species Act negatively affect animals?

6. What can we learn about economics and incentives by learning about these unsuccessful situations?

1 comment:

  1. thank you for your share! it`s really interesting, and it might be a good way in writing.