South Park — White People Flipping Houses

 

Randy Marsh is a local contractor who flips homes in the area. His TV show, white people flipping homes, has come under bad wrap when local Confederates have decided to use his television show to protest the Amazon Echo stealing jobs in the town. Marsh takes the men to court for damages because viewers negatively associate the local Confederates with the show. He’s asked why he doesn’t change the name of his show, but he lists off a variety of other show titles that were already taken. In a monopolistically competitive market, product differentiation is essential to creating demand. Items must be substitutable, but sellers also must try to convince buyers that their product is somehow unique from the competition.

Superior Donuts — Food Truck Competition

A new food truck sets up shop outside the donut store. The clip starts with the new owner coming by and asking how long the shop has been in business and what kind of customers stop by. She quickly realizes that she can setup shop and steal some of the existing customers. This clip does a really good job showing how monopolistically competitive markets function and that even though an imperfect substitute enters the market, the demand for one business decreases.

 

Adam Ruins Everything — Eyeglass Monopoly

Adam Ruins Everything is a half-hour informational comedy were host, Adam Conover, debunks popular myths. Each episode is divided into 3 segments with some common theme. In the Spring of 2018, James Tierney and I sat down to go through all three seasons of Adam Ruins Everything to pick out examples in each episode that could be used in an economics course. If you’re curious about the paper, you can read about it here.

Eyeglasses in the United States can cost hundreds of dollars and that’s probably because 80% of glasses are manufactured by one firm under different brand names. Because they produce both luxury and basic brands, they are able to raise prices well beyond a more competitive price. Luxottica even owns many of the sunglasses stores, which gives them buying power over inputs.

Senator Alesi — Zone Pricing for Gasoline

Senator Alesi discusses a practice known as zone pricing whereas oil companies charge different prices to gasoline station owners depending on how affluent the surrounding area is. This leads to differing gas prices for citizens across the city.

Paper Moon — Selling Bibles

The young girl performs the role of price determinator in this clip from Paper Moon. The bibles hypothetically cannot be resold because they are inscribed with a name of the deceased. The girl looks around the living room to determine the price that the consumers would be willing (and able) to pay for the bible.

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