BBC — 200 Countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

What does the world look like (wealth and health) over the past 200 years, but squeezed into 4 minutes. Hans Rosling looks at the change in a income and life expectancy for countries across the world over the past 200 years. What’s nice about this visualization is that it’s color coded to be able to show how different regions changed over time. We can also see how globalization has affected major countries like China, Japan, and India.

Construction Site in Thailand

A few years back there was a popular video of a human powered ferris wheel in India. I use that clip to talk about labor abundance in the Heckscher–Ohlin model of trade since India is so labor-abundant. Earlier we came across this fantastic video of a construction site in Thailand (another labor rich country). For small construction jobs, the workers will use manpower (literally) instead of machines to drive piles into the ground.  This clip could also be used in a labor economics setting if you’re talking about substitutes in production. Either way, this is a fun-video for class with a pretty nice beat from the tambourine-wielding foreman.

Always Sunny — Circular Flow

Mac and Dennis come up with a plan to create Paddy’s Dollars in order to stimulate their bar’s revenues, but they have the system a bit backward. They decide to give away a bunch of vouchers that could be used to buy beer to local homeless people. Unfortunately, there’s no incentive for those individuals to come back and buy more Paddy’s Dollars later. This would also be a neat example when teaching circular flow diagrams.

Always Sunny — Internal Economy

While visiting a Dave and Buster’s, Mac and Dennis decide to create Paddy’s Dollars to promote their bar, based on the Dave & Buster’s Power Card. They believe that by giving out Paddy’s Dollars they can get people to come back to their store and spend more money there. They want to require people to buy Paddy’s Dollars using real dollars.

This could be a cool introduction to the Capitol Hill Babysitting Co-op.

Last Leg — David Mitchell on Tax Avoidance

The Last Leg is a British comedy and late night television talk show similar to the Late Show or The Tonight Show in the United States. The economist David Mitchell was a guest one night and opted to talk about taxes, tax evasion, and tax avoidance. He notes that people who have a conscious and try to pay their “fair share” of taxes are actually being taxed at a higher rate than those who are trying to avoid paying taxes. This is backwards from the traditional notion that governments should use taxes to discourage bad behavior.

Thanks for the clip Chris Neill.

Home Improvement — Technological Improvement

Tim decides to customize his lawn mower in order to get more power out of it. By doing so he’s able to mow his lawn much quicker than he previous did. This technological innovation allows him to complete his task much quicker and spend more time on other tasks that need to be completed around the house.

The Big Short — Risk vs Reward

In this scene from The Big Short, the traders illustrate the concept of risk/reward payoffs using Jenga blocks. When trying to determine which investments to approach, the safest returns (the blocks at the top) are the easiest to invest in, but they don’t offer much of a return because they are so safe. The investments that are a bit risker (the blocks at the bottom) are compensated with higher returns to compensate investors who take the risk.

TED — How Containerization Shaped the Modern World

Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how the shipping container revolutions international trade and made it easier to ship products around the world. This TED Talk could be used when discussing comparative advantage and trade or even when thinking about factors that have led to the growth of countries.

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