In March 2018, I ran an economics 6-week challenge series. I intended to hold a challenge series every year. Sadly, that did not happen. A combination of low prices from the Bear Market, dwindling audience, and insufficient Hive Power to support the challenge series financially made running these series impractical. This year is a little different. I have the most Hive Power I have ever had since being on Hive. My two accounts combine for about 210K Hive Power. Over the past few years, I have been consistently earning from content creation and curation. I also received quite a boost when Steem hardforked to create Hive. I sold my Steem to buy Bitcoin, I used some of that Bitcoin to buy 50K Hive for my @captainhive account, which is now worth about 57K Hive. We are now back in a Bull Market and the price of Hive is considerably higher than the Steem prices of 2019 and 2020. To rebuild my contest audience, I brought back my Buying and Selling Game. It has been back for about a year. So now, I have the Hive Power to support prizes and hopefully sufficient participation induced by my previous contests and the cryptocurrency bullish sentiments.
What is this challenge series about?
The focus of this challenge series will be economics. Each week for seven weeks there will be a new challenge. One week later, the results of the challenge will be announced. Prizes will be given to the winners of each challenge as well as the overall winner of the challenge series who will be determined based on performance in 7 challenges (explained later in post). The first 12 entries to each challenge will receive upvotes.
Buying and Selling Game (Original Version)
The Buying and Selling Game first appeared as the third challenge in my Economics Challenge Series in 2018. In the past year, I have run this contest monthly. It has changed a little since the challenge series. Instead of requiring a response in a post, participants only need to respond as a comment. For this challenge series, participants will follow the same requirements as the monthly contests.
The contest requires three simple steps.
- Choose one or more of six goods to buy.
- Choose the city, town, island or planet where you will be buying these goods.
- Choose the city, town, island or planet where you will be selling these goods.
Buying and Selling Game (Business Version)
I have only run one Business Version of my Buying and Selling Game. It uses the same ideas in regards to maximising profit from buying and selling goods but it is played very differently. The game is played from the perspective of maximising profit for a business selling up to three types of products. The participants are given a budget. Some of that budget goes to overhead costs and the remainder goes to buying or producing products. The participant is normally required to buy or produce in bulk but sell each product individually. The participant is required to set the price for each product. The demand for each product is generated in an Excel model using triangle distributions. The participants are provided with the maximum, minimum, and mode demand of potential customers as well as a value for diminishing marginal utility, which is used to calculate demand for multiple purchases of one product. Any unsold products are assumed to be wasted (i.e. sold for $0). The Excel model also determines the winner of the contest.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is an area I have spent a considerably part of my career working on. Last year, I launched a comprehensive CBA course on Udemy. It has been quite well received and has had some good reviews. You can read more about it at the bottom of this post. CBA is also an area that can be used to create a contest or challenge. In my 2018 series, Challenge 4 was a CBA based question where participants were given several investment options. They were required to justify these investment options using CBA as well as qualitative discussion. The winner was decided by votes from those with accounts on Steem.
In the new series, the CBA challenge will be a little different. A new post will not be required. Participants will respond in the comments section of the challenge. They will respond by stating which projects they invested in and the amount they have invested. For example, the question may contain 12 investment options and offer three levels of investment (i.e. low, medium, or high). The participants will be given a budget, which they will be able to use on several different investments. The participant with the highest return from their investment will be the winner; the most likely used indicator will be the Net Benefit Investment Ratio (NBIR). The returns on investment will be determined in an Excel model. The value of the benefits of each investment option will rely on several drivers of key inputs. Examples of drivers are population growth, population distribution, and economic growth. The participants will not be given the values of these drivers but instead a range of values for a uniform distribution.
Auction (Mystery Items)
Auctions can be fun. This challenge will be straightforward. Participants just need to bid on mystery items. Whichever participant has the highest bid wins the mystery item. The value of each item is unknown until it is revealed in the results post. However, the participants will be given a range of values for a uniform distribution. An Excel model will be used to determine these values. The participants need to aim to win the auctions without exceeding the value of the mystery item. Altogether, there will be 12 mystery items to bid on. Each participant will be allowed to bid on as many as 6 items. Bidding will be conducted in the comments section. The winner will be determined based on by how much the value of the items they win exceed their winning bids. For example, a participant may win 3 auctions. This participant may have won the auctions with bids of $50, $60, and $30 for items with values of $65, $55, and $40 respectively. This participant would have a net gain of $20 (65-50+55-60+40-30=20).
Return on Investment (Buy your coin)
This challenge can be expected to be the most basic and easiest to understand of all the challenges in the series. Participants will be given a budget to spend on 20 selected cryptocurrencies. Participants will be allowed to spend as much or as little as they want and on and as many of the 20 coins as they please. The prices will be based on Coingecko and a screenshot of the prices will be included in the challenge post. In the results post, another screenshot of the prices will be included. This screenshot will be taken on a date and time specified in the question. The participant who made the highest profit from the price changes in these coins will be the winner.
Game Theory Challenge (Most or Least)
Game theory has fascinated me for many years. I have written several posts and made several videos about game theory. I have a section dedicated to game theory in Part one of my collection of works. For this challenge, the game will be played among the participants. The decisions made by the participants will determine the winner. The participants will be presented with 5 or more boxes. Each box will contain a monetary value. This value will be stated in the question. The participants will be required to choose a certain number of boxes. For example, they might be required to choose 3 of the 5 boxes. Each participant will share the value of the boxes with any other participant who has selected that box. The winner will be the participant with the highest total value from the boxes. If more than one participant has the highest value, the winner will be the participant with the lowest value. If more than one participant has the lowest value, the first and second participant to enter the challenge will be joint winners of the challenge and will share the prize evenly. This will occur regardless of how much they obtained from the boxes. Below is an example of how the game is played.
Example of Game Theory Challenge
The above game has 8 participants. Each participant is required to select 3 of the 5 boxes. Each time a new participant enters, the payouts to all players change as the payouts from the boxes are spread across more players. Players that enter later have an advantage of seeing what boxes other players have picked. However, the first two players have the advantage of winning in the event winning conditions 1 and 2 are not fulfilled.
Make me Happy
Happiness is a simple idea and should be desired by all. Unfortunately, achieving happiness in life is a lot more difficult than many of us would hope. In this challenge, participants need to maximise the happiness of one of the characters described in the question by stating the amount of time their selected characters spends on certain activities in a week. Some of these activities are as follows.
- Eating out
- Watching TV
- Reading a book
- Going to the pub
- Social media
- Playing video games
All characters begin the week with no money. Therefore, to be able to participant in some activities at least some time needs to be dedicated to working. A minimum of 4 hours sleep a day (28 hours in a week) is required. Each activity provides some utility; this utility will vary by task and by character. The question will provide a range of utility that each activity will provide each character. Actual utility for each activity and total utility for each character will be calculated in an Excel model. Total utility will be calculated using a formula stated in the question. The winner of the challenge will be the participant who obtains the highest utility for their character.
This challenge series will have an overall winner. The top performing participants from each challenge will be given points. The participant with the most points from across all challenges will be the series winner.
For my Buying and Selling Game, the prize has been consistently 30 Hive. For the challenges, the prize will depend on participation. The more participants, the higher the prize. For each new participant, the prize for the challenge will increase by 5 Hive. This will occur until the prize reaches a maximum of 60 Hive for the challenge. For example, if there are 5 participants, the prize will be 25 Hive (5 × 5). If there are 10 participants, the prize will be 50 Hive (10 × 5). If there are 12 or more participants, the prize will be 60 Hive. For some challenges, the prize will be awarded to just the winner and for others it will be rewarded as 2/3 to the winner and 1/3 to second place. The prize for the overall winner will depend on total participation across all 7 challenges. For each participant, the prize will increase by 1 Hive. This will occur until the prize reaches a maximum of 80 Hive. For example, if challenges 1 to 7 have 8, 7, 5, 6, 12, 10, and 14 participants respectively, the prize for the overall winner will be 62 Hive (8+7+5+6+12+10+14=62). If the participation rate is high, as much as 500 Hive (7 × 60 + 80 = 500) will be given away.
When will the challenge series be held?
The challenge series will be held in July and August this year. The first challenge will be held in the first week of July. The results of the final challenge and overall winner should decided by the end of August. To increase your chances of winning, enter all the challenges.
If you want to read any of my other posts, you can click on the links below. These links will lead you to posts containing my collection of works. These 'Collection of Works' posts have been updated to contain links to the Hive versions of my posts.
My New CBA Udemy Course
The course contains over 10 hours of video, over 60 downloadable resources, over 40 multiple-choice questions, 2 sample case studies, 1 practice CBA, life time access and a certificate on completion. The course is priced at the Tier 1 price of £20. I believe it is frequently available at half-price.