Vox — China’s Panda Diplomacy

One of the coolest examples of international trade is China’s use of pandas as a tool for encouraging international trade. While the pandas (and their eventual cubs) may come with a hefty fee, the majority of these pandas accompany major international trade deals that countries sign with China. This quick explainer video outlines the way China uses pandas to their advantage.

Jerry Seinfeld — Morning Guy

In one of Seinfeld’s monologues he covers the time inconsistencies between people’s decisions late at night versus the next day.  In his latest Netflix special, Jerry Before Seinfeld, goes through the bit again with some updates. While we assume people to be rational in many models, people do odd things with respect to their own-selves that they may not do if they were forward thinking. This time inconsistency creates a lot of opportunities for discussions of procrastination, overconfidence biases, and other behavioral anomalies.

If you want more economics and Seinfeld, check out YadaYadaYadaEcon.com!

Jimmy Kimmel Live — 2nd Grader Explains Trade Deficits

With the recent stretch of tariffs being imposed on other countries (and other countries on us), Jimmy Kimmel uses some of his showtime to interview 2nd graders about the trade deficits. The basis of the segment comes from Trump’s misguided tweet regarding trade deficits and why a trade war won’t hurt the US:

Shiloh, our 2nd grader, explains the pros and cons of international trade, including the potential for lost jobs in the US and unsafe working conditions abroad. She also highlights the pros of trade by noting countries are able to buy more things, create jobs in exporting industries, and bring countries together.

Thanks to Abdullah Al-Bahrani for the post!

Superstore — A Pharmacist’s Salary

Tate has no problem sharing his salary, but it’s unclear the main driver of the salary. In reality, salaries are comprised of a variety of skill and compensating differentials as well as potential efficiency payments. Tate has a doctorate of pharmacy, which should result in higher pay for human capital investments. In the clip above he mentions that people could die if he messes up, which probably adds a lot of pressure to his workday. This pressure could be a compensating differential that increases his pay. However, there’s also a chance he’s paid highly so that he doesn’t goof off, which would be an efficiency payment.

Superstore — Flu Shot Equity

Jonah’s helping out in the pharmacy, but there’s only one flu shot left. The actual pharmacist isn’t much help, so Jonah has to decide who deserves the last flu shot available for the day. Many of the customers are unwilling to drive to a nearby store or come back the next day, and each make an important point about who “needs” it the most. Should the last flu shot go to a pregnant woman, a kindergarten teacher, or the man who was next in line? Rationing can often lead to equity issues when trying to decide who is more deserving of a limited item.

 

One Day at a Time — Risk Aversion

Penelope wakes up from a bad, but her mother is there to comfort her. After a second, Penelope notices that her mom has makeup on despite being asleep. Her mother tells her that she goes through the process of putting makeup on each night just in case she wakes up and meets someone or if she dies in her sleep. In this context, Penelope’s mom is risk averse and undergoes a lot of costs each night “just in case.”

Thanks to Khalaf Alshammari for the clip!

Impractical Jokes — Auction House Meltdown

The endowment effect in economics is a powerful explainer for irrationality. When people own something, they are often not willing to release an item even when someone is willing to pay more than it’s valued at. One of the famous examples is the coffee mug experiment. In this episode of Impractical Jokers, the guys head to an auction house and have one of them act like a remorseful seller who isn’t ready to part with their belongings. After pissing off the auction house members, the joker isn’t willing to buy his own tires back, which his friends submit to the auction house.

Thanks to Alyssa Lampros for the submission!

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