The Simpsons — Sirloin-A-Lot Challenge

This clips includes a few different economics concepts rolled in to one. The overarching theme is that of consumer choice where Homer appears to experience diminishing returns while trying to eat a 16 pound steak. He’s competing against a previous eating contest winner, who dies at the end from eating too much steak.

In the middle of the clip, Marge asks Dr. Hibbert if that much steak is healthy and Dr. Hibbert exhibits a bit of the principle-agent problem where his interests now align with eating competitions because he owns a portion of the restaurant. The good doctor tells her not to worry because they have a new heimlich machine, which decreases their need to focus on choking hazards.

Always Sunny — The Cost of Health Care

After Dee has a heart attach, she heads to the hospital only to find out that she doesn’t have insurance because her dad canceled the policy when they were younger. Mac and Charlie are confused that people have to pay to stay in a hospital because they think of it like a public good similar to police and fire protection, which is nonexcludable.

Frank shows up to get a full body health scan because he’s been having a bit too much fun. This line alone is a great clip for teaching moral hazard when it comes to healthcare.

Always Sunny — Healthcare & Socialism

Charlie and Mac discuss how crazy it is that Americans need to pay for healthcare and would only expect that from a communist dictator. Their confusion comes about because their friend, Dee, has a heart attack and then they realize that the could be injured at any moment.

Budlight Hitchhiker Commercial

When one party has more information about themselves than the other party, economists describe this situation as asymmetric information. We know a lot about our “true” selves, but we can use signals to send to other parties to either conceal our true selves or hide a characteristic we don’t want to reveal. In this clever Budweiser ad, the hitchhiker is trying to conceal his real intentions by carrying a case of Bud Light.

Superstore — Life of an Insurance Plan

When Mateo gets sick, Jonah comes up with an insurance fund to help cover employee medical bills because the store does not offer health insurance. The team members join the plan because it only costs $20 each month, but Jonah has promised to pay previous medical bills. Jonah and Amy quickly find out each team member, especially Sandra, has a lot of pre-existing conditions and they realize that they can’t cover everyone’s costs at one time. The two try to break the two groups apart, but the members in the pre-existing condition group will have to pay significantly more to cover all their costs.

Superstore — Is Insurance a Pyramid Scheme?

Mateo comes down with an ear infection and Jonah comes up with an idea to create a store insurance policy. Originally, the store raised money for medical bills by putting a donation jar out for customers to donate spare change. When Jonah realizes that takes a lot of work, he proposes creating a pool of funds from the employees and have them contribute monthly to cover someone’s bills. Unfortunately, he’s created a semi-pyramid scheme that requires individuals to donate money to help one individual.

Superstore — The Cost of Healthcare

After a coworker comes down with an ear infection, the team members decide to try and raise money to help cover the costs of medicine. Jonah decides to come up with a group health plan where each member donates money from their check and then covers the medical costs of store members whenever the become sick. Amy sarcastically points out that this is basically what health insurance is meant to do.

Friends — The One Where Joey Loses his Health Insurance

Joey loses his health insurance from SAG because he hasn’t been working enough jobs. He laments to Chandler that he now has to be more careful until he gets enough interviews to qualify again. The next day Joey gets a hernia, but won’t go to the hospital because he can’t afford. He tries to do a few different auditions with the hernia, but none of them really work in his favor.

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