Monty Python — Cheese Shop Sketch

One of the many benefits of international trade is increased product variety because countries can devote resources to the goods they have a comparative advantage in. Monty Python demonstrates what a world without trade would look like. After going through a list of a variety of different types of cheese (even cheddar!), but nothing is available. The finest cheese shop is at least clean!

Thanks to Rob Szarka for the clip suggestion on his Twitter account!

McDonald’s — Weak Dollar

In this commercial, office workers are lamenting the apparent weakness of the dollar relative to other currencies. Another worker comes by with a hamburger from McDonald’s $1 menu and the office changes their tunes when they realize that a dollar can buy a whole hamburger.

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.

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.

Marketplace — The Problem with NAFTA

A brief background of NAFTA and the problems of exiting NAFTA. A good discussion within the video covers the parties that gain and the parties that loses from NAFTA. A good note in the video is that the jobs that are lost are different from the jobs that were gained.

Rick and Morty — Devaluing the Intergalactic Currency

One of the main characters just changed the value of the international currency to be zero which has the effect of causing all money to be worthless. The clip focuses on the president of the galactic federation and his aides discussing what to do about the sudden lack of money when the aides realize that without any money they won’t get paid and that they refuse to work for nothing. The president comes up with a solution that involves blowing his brains out with a handy space pistol.

Thanks for the summary and clip Ben Kupp!

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