Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Contracts, livestock, and the Bernoulli process: an application of statistics to B. Traven's 'Cattle Drive'

Contents:

Author Info

  • Emil Berendt
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    One of the pivotal devices B. Traven employs in his short story 'The Cattle Drive' is a contract between the cattle owner and the trail boss who brings the livestock to market. By specifying a per-diem rate, the contract appears to encourage a wage-maximizing trail boss to delay the delivery of the cattle. However, a statistical model of the contract demonstrates that a rational trail boss has an incentive to maintain a rapid rate of travel. The article concludes that statistics can be applied in non-traditional ways such as to the analysis of the plot of a fictional story. The statistical model suggests plausible alternative endings to the story based on various parameter assumptions. Finally, it demonstrates that a well-crafted story can provide an excellent case study of how contracts create incentives and influence decision-making.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02664760701775571
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Applied Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 193-202

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:japsta:v:35:y:2008:i:2:p:193-202

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CJAS20

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CJAS20

    Related research

    Keywords: B. Traven; contract; principal-agent problem; binomial; Cattle Drive; wage; literature;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:japsta:v:35:y:2008:i:2:p:193-202. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.