Relative values of wealth are often difficult for students to analyze, primarily given our focus on income. Income is the flow of money while wealth is an accumulation of assets. Different generations perceive the concept of “wealthy” differently, but this video includes nonpecuniary aspects like spending time with family or being able to vacations as markers of wealthy. It would be interesting to survey students what they feel is a level of wealth that they would identify as being “wealthy.” I suspect it could also be a good opportunity to talk about the differences between means and medians.
The Cooper family is on their way to get a computer unbeknownst to the children. Sheldon’s sister Missy is in love with her pony, even if some of is derived from the fact that Sheldon doesn’t have a toy (known as a positional good). This all changes when their mother announces that Sheldon will be getting his computer. Missy is now upset because she has a “lousy toy” that she loved minutes ago. This scene is a good representation of the issues of inequality despite both parties gaining, the relative gain is unbalanced. The two siblings experience a Pareto improvements in their lives (both gain), but one is happier about the situation than the other.
Colorful stickers have become de facto currency on the playground. TJ can’t buy things because he doesn’t have any stickers even though his friends have them. Because of the increase in demand, the local shop owner doesn’t even have any stickers left.
TJ decides to start working in order to earn more stickers to buy things. When he gets tired of doing labor for stickers, he turns into a managerial role and begins delegating tasks to other kids who needs stickers. When TJ collects nearly all of the Monstickers on the playground, the kids aren’t able to actually purchase anythings. Eventually, Monstickers become obsolete and the playground converts to Lick ‘n’ Stick Alien Stamps and the Monstickers become useless.
Robin Williams stars as a defected Soviet living in the United States in Moscow on the Hudson. His shift from communist markets to American-style markets is a bit overwhelming as he visits a grocery store to find the coffee aisle. After realizing that there’s no line to buy coffee and that there are a dozen varieties of coffee, he passes out in the middle of the store.
Homer has had about 100 jobs during his many years on television and Vox writers have analyzed his work life. If you plan on using a lot of Simpsons clips throughout your course, they may be a good introduction for students unfamiliar with the show.
Aaron Tippin sings about the hard working lifestyle of a blue-collar worker who works 8 hours per day. While others may have more money than he does, he did it the way he felt was right by not selling his values.
If you love country music and economics, check out EconGoneCountry.com
William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) in A Knight’s Tale convinces his friends that they should take their winnings and invest it in better training so that they can win bigger prizes in the future.
Great work from the folks at Marginal Revolution University on the tradeoffs of robotization. I like to break this clip down into 6-7 parts and place clicker questions between the video clips.
I use this in my international trade chapter to talk about factor endowments. Countries with a a lot of people (like India and China) will tend to do things using more labor than others.