Speed Camera Lottery

 

How can we convince people to drive a safer speed? Kevin Richardson proposed setting up a speed camera (which are common across Europe) and take some of the money that is spent on ticketing speeders to redistribute to drivers who were driving the correct speed. Instead of using the potential fine as an incentive to discourage bad behavior, it cane be re-framed as an opportunity to be rewarded for good behavior.

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.

John Stossel — The Fight Against Food Trucks

John Stossel, through ReasonTV, looks at the regulations behind the food truck industry. From a competitive market standpoint, food trucks have the ability to respond to high demand areas by relocating at any given moment. For brick-and-mortar businesses, however, food trucks enter the market as a low-cost competitor and steal customers from permanent restaurants. Many cities in the United States have setup regulation limiting the location of food trucks or the hours they may operate. This rent seeking behavior, however, limits the amount of options available to consumers in the name of “fairness.”

Los Angeles Clippers — Dynamic & Variable Pricing

The LA Clippers explain the difference between variable and dynamic ticket pricing, which are often confused by fans. Variable pricing refers to changes in ticket prices based on factors like opponent, day of the week, or time of the game. Dynamic ticket pricing takes things a step further and actually bases the ticket price off demand and supply for a particular game.

Northwestern — Purple Pricing Plan

Northwestern University unveiled one of the first dynamic pricing models for college sports in 2014. Students can reserve seats for upcoming sporting events and if prices fall to lower prices because of low demand, anyone who paid higher prices would be refunded. This incentive was meant to encourage students to reserve their seats early for big games. The two also introduce a Dutch Auction for tickets where students can set their reserve price and if they fall within the window then they’ll be assigned tickets.

TedTalk — Dan Ariely on Cheating

 

I’m teaching an Economics of Crime course soon so I’ve been on the look out for great clips related to cheating. I think my current plan is to have a series of goofy examples of cheating. In this Ted Talk, Dan Ariely discusses some of the research from his books on honesty by describing the idea of irrationality related to honesty. The rational model of crime first flushed out by Gary Becker assumed that criminals performed a cost-benefit analysis for cheating and would only cheat if the expected benefits outweighed the costs of being caught. Ariely brings the behavioral aspect of economics into play with his discussion on the nuances around decision making, even in criminal enterprises.

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.

YouTube — Trying to Buy People’s Dogs

This prankster is going around Chicago asking people to sell their dog for up to $10,000. Most people aren’t willing to part with their beloved pooch, but some people consider his offer. This clip is a good introduction to the idea of willingness to sell and people’s subject valuation of their possessions.

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