Superstore — Flu Shot Equity

Jonah’s helping out in the pharmacy, but there’s only one flu shot left. The actual pharmacist isn’t much help, so Jonah has to decide who deserves the last flu shot available for the day. Many of the customers are unwilling to drive to a nearby store or come back the next day, and each make an important point about who “needs” it the most. Should the last flu shot go to a pregnant woman, a kindergarten teacher, or the man who was next in line? Rationing can often lead to equity issues when trying to decide who is more deserving of a limited item.

 

The Real — Thanksgiving Tap Out

Guest co-host, Ashanti, mentions that expensive flights during Thanksgiving should be “tapped out” because a lot of people need to be with their families during Thanksgiving. This relates to the concept of demand and supply because the airlines know that when it is close to Thanksgiving, the demand for flights increases, and since most people are eager to be with their families, they are rather inelastic to the price change, so the firms take advantage of this and raise the price of the tickets drastically in order to increase their total revenue.

Thanks for the clip and summary Tammy Georgewill!

Lots of Econ in This is The End (NSFW)

This is a little NSFW and has some mild language, but it illustrates tradeoffs really well. This is the End is a movie about actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves in an apocalypse. In this season, the actors are trying to decide how to divide their stockpile.

Friends — Efficiency vs. Equity of Splitting Meals

This great clip from Friends shows the equity/efficiency tradeoff nicely. It’s also a nice opportunity to bring up the idea of fairness. While splitting a check into equal parts is easier, it’s not always appropriate for people who don’t eat much.

Numb3rs: Ultimatum Game

Charlie explains the Ultimatum Game to Nikki and why some people are willing to hurt themselves for revenge. When Nikki gives him $30 out of $100, she’s showing that concerns for equity lead people to act differently than what’s “optimal.”

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