Jerry Seinfeld — Morning Guy

In one of Seinfeld’s monologues he covers the time inconsistencies between people’s decisions late at night versus the next day.  In his latest Netflix special, Jerry Before Seinfeld, goes through the bit again with some updates. While we assume people to be rational in many models, people do odd things with respect to their own-selves that they may not do if they were forward thinking. This time inconsistency creates a lot of opportunities for discussions of procrastination, overconfidence biases, and other behavioral anomalies.

If you want more economics and Seinfeld, check out YadaYadaYadaEcon.com!

One Day at a Time — Risk Aversion

Penelope wakes up from a bad, but her mother is there to comfort her. After a second, Penelope notices that her mom has makeup on despite being asleep. Her mother tells her that she goes through the process of putting makeup on each night just in case she wakes up and meets someone or if she dies in her sleep. In this context, Penelope’s mom is risk averse and undergoes a lot of costs each night “just in case.”

Thanks to Khalaf Alshammari for the clip!

Impractical Jokes — Auction House Meltdown

The endowment effect in economics is a powerful explainer for irrationality. When people own something, they are often not willing to release an item even when someone is willing to pay more than it’s valued at. One of the famous examples is the coffee mug experiment. In this episode of Impractical Jokers, the guys head to an auction house and have one of them act like a remorseful seller who isn’t ready to part with their belongings. After pissing off the auction house members, the joker isn’t willing to buy his own tires back, which his friends submit to the auction house.

Thanks to Alyssa Lampros for the submission!

Chris Rock — Break Up

Chris Rock discusses his recent divorces and encourages couples in love to make sure they hold tight to one another. He does warn that if you’re thinking about leaving then you should probably leave immediately, perhaps after the show. A lot of people stay in relationships they don’t like being in because they’ve been together for so long, but that’s just irrational!

Life in Pieces — Coupons as gifts

Matt isn’t the best at giving gifts and he’s realizing that this year. Matt gives his wife a homemade coupon book that she decides to finally cash in to show him how awful the gifts are. After a while he doesn’t work as hard, but then at family dinner he finds out that no one really appreciates his gifts because it doesn’t seem like he puts much thought into them. There is a small line about positive externalities because Jen got a flu shot for her birthday once, which her husbands announces was “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Life in pieces also has another great clip on opportunity cost that’s worth checking out!

TED-ED: Why incompetent people think they’re amazing

The Dunning-Kruger effect is an interesting psychological theory that looks at why novices tend to overrate their abilities and even rate themselves on par with experts. This mindset has real implications for decision making because overconfidence made lead us to make suboptimal choices.

Vox — Expensive Wine is For Suckers

Vox goes through the popular wine test tasting to show that many drinkers are able to distinguishes between cheap and expensive wines, but that doesn’t mean that people actually liked the expensive wines. Often, people rated the expensive and cheap wines similarly. Even when it comes to experts, they often aren’t able to identify the same wine presented in a mix of other wines.

Tampa ABC — Rays Looking for New Stadium

When teams request public funding for new stadiums, they often do so with the threat of relocating to a city that is eager for a team. These credible threats must be without a team (either never having one or recently lost one) and are willing to put up the money to support a team. With a credible threat in place, host cities are often left with the option of paying large public subsidies.

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.

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