economic paper

economic paper

This assignment is brought to you courtesy of Dr. Katherine T. McClain who teaches at the University of Georgia.  Read the poem and write a one page essay that addresses the questions that follow.


Opportunity cost may seem like a concept unique to economics and economic analysis.  However, in “The Road Not Taken,” Pulitzer-prize winning poet Robert Frost wrote,


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I count not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps a better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


  1. Where in the poem does Frost describe opportunity cost, even though it is not in economic terms?  What is the relationship between choice and opportunity cost?  What specific decision does this traveler make, and what is the cost of his decision? 


  1. Using the poem, explain how every decision we make involves opportunity cost, even when costs are not measured in dollars.
  2. format:• 12-point, Times New Roman

    • double spacing

    • 1 inch margins

    1 page length

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