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Economics/Night shifts for Bank and Insurance cos.


Dear Prof Raza

Do you feel there could be a possibility of working in Night shifts for Banks and Insurance cos Employees?.


Hi Prashant,

Thanks for this question.

The answer to this question devolves on two simultaneously powerful forces of business dynamics that are in action in this modern globalized economic system.

First, there is an ever-increasing tendency towards transaction need of money in day-to-day business activities on an international landscape in the context of a "global village" where the sun never sets. When business activity is going on at one place where it is daytime, at another place it is dead of night, and vice versa. Yet business must go on in full swing at both the antipodal parts of the world. How can that be kept in motion?

Second, transaction information sent from one part of the world to another takes only seconds --faster than the speed of sound --owing to tremendous progress in digital technology. Should one partner to a party in business at one part of the world wait for 12 hours to receive feedback from another party to the business deal at another part of the world?

These are two crucial questions that may engross the attentions of business analysts and researchers --including, of course, Prashant A Askerar --in both the banking sector and the insurance sector. In the banking sector it is of prime importance, because "cost of money" is very important in matters of time, especially when business of millions of dollars is involved. On the insurance turf, "time" is critical in determining "applicability and benefits" of insurance in case of "statistically determinable" cases of currently "unforeseeable conditions," especially because insurance in a global society is not necessarily executed domestically, and insurance agents may belong to companies separated by long distance.

So, fromthe above, it seems there is an undeniable need for emergence of night shifts in the banking and insurance sectors in order that international business may proceed without undue "temporal lag" and undue "deadweight loss" to both the business community and the customer community. [Please go through any intermediate-level textbook of economics on deadweight loss, if you have forgotten about it: basically, it means there could be "underproduction" or "overproduction" and not the warranted "optimal production" such that "total [global] social benefit" is not optimum; in other words, marginal social benefit is either more or less than marginal social cost (MSB>MSC or MSB<MSC but not the optimal  MSB=MSC).]

This is the one force in the dynamics I referred to at the outset of this answer --the force that points to the ineluctable need for night shifts (something like the numerator in Newtonian Law of Gravitation).

Now, Prashant, we are faced with another equally strong, if not stronger, force (something like the denominator in Newtonian Law of Gravitation). This force tells us that there is an ever-increasing tendency towards "reduction" of already existing "day shifts" in this modern globalized system. This is, again, due to prodigious progress in digital technology. Digital technology has made it possible for machines to "take up" previously carried-out human jobs through programmed instructions of highly sophisticated software. Just as a bank customer can take out money, in whatever denominations he prefers, from an unmanned ATM booth, a business agent at one end may get "answers" from another end from unmanned computerized system. As such, there seems to be no need for night shifts.

There, however, remains a question. To go for night shift with no high-technology computerized system or to go for only part-time day shift with high-technology computerized system? To answer to this Yes-No question, we again refer to Newtonian Law of Gravity. Both the forces are working --and it depends.

Let me explain. High-technology computerized system is not without its cost --somewhat prohibitively high cost for the "developing countries which are short on capital and high on labor" --and not without the necessity for not-yet-developed  some foolproof complementing technology to go simultaneously to ward off computer "glitz" and "hacking" even in developed countries. If we weigh the pro and con of costs and benefits, we may not be surprised to see that, for majority of the countries in this present world, night shift may conduce to the economy.

I hope, Prashant, this gives you a window on the prospects of night shifts for bank and insurance- company employees.

This is a very interesting piece of study, but may require delving into piles of information. Best of luck.


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Eklimur Raza


It appears some students in this website are confused about elasticity of demand and the slope of the demand curve when they are trying to figure out why rectangular hyperbola comes up in case of unitary demand curve. First, they don't know that RH can be depicted in a positive quadrant of price,quantity plane. Secondly, they make the mistake that the slope of RH is constant at -1. Two points could help them: first, e=1 at each and every point of the RH, because the tangent at any point shows lower segment=upper segment (another geometric definition of e); yet slopes at different points,dQ/dP, are different; second, e is not slope but [(Slope)(P/Q)]in absolute terms. Caveat: only if we measure (log P) along the horizontal axis and (log Q) up the vertical axis, can we then say slope equals elasticity --in which case RH on P,Q plane is transformed into a straight-line demand curve [with slope= -tan 45 deg] on (log Q),(logP) plane, and e= -d(log Q)/d(log P). [By the way, logs are not used in college textbooks --although that is helpful in econometric estimation of elasticity viewed as an exponent of P, when demand equation is transformed into log-linear form.] I have not found the geometrical explanation I have given in any textbook followed in undergraduate and college classes in Canada (including the book followed in a university where I taught for a short time and in the book followed in George Brown College, Toronto, where I teach.


About 11 years' teaching economics and business studies, and also English, history and elementary French.Practical experience in a development bank, working with international donor agencies like the World Bank and the ADB. Experience in free-lance journalism, including Canada's "National Post."

I teach micro- and macroeconomics at George Brown College (continuing education), Toronto, ON, Canada.

Many articles and editorials, on different subjects, in English newspapers. Recently an applied Major Research Paper, based on a synthesis of the Solow growth model and the Lewis two-sector model, has be accepted by Ryerson University, Toronto. Professors Thomas Barbiero and Eric Cam, Ryerson University, accepted the paper.

Master degree in Interantional Economics and Finance and diploma with honours in Business Administration from Canada.

Awards and Honors
Received First Prize in an inter-university Literary Contest.

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