Monty Python — Cheese Shop Sketch

One of the many benefits of international trade is increased product variety because countries can devote resources to the goods they have a comparative advantage in. Monty Python demonstrates what a world without trade would look like. After going through a list of a variety of different types of cheese (even cheddar!), but nothing is available. The finest cheese shop is at least clean!

Thanks to Rob Szarka for the clip suggestion on his Twitter account!

TIME — Nutella Riots After Price Drop

 

A few supermarkets in France decided to cut the price of Nutella (an extremely popular item throughout Europe) by 70% and customers responded in droves to scoop up the heavily discounted staple. Police were called to various markets as customers fought to get the remaining jars. Not only is this a great example for demand shifts, but it’s an even better topic of elasticity!

Always Sunny — When is Stuff Art?

Frank convinces an art gallery director to come to the bar in order to try and convince her to buy their bad art. After looking around and watching a homemade video, she describes how art is worth what the buyer is willing to pay and that everyone has different preferences and values items differently. She also discusses the double coincidence of wants and how she no longer wants to buy back Frank’s painting.

Thank you to Ian Pearson for the clip reference!

The Daily Show — Sig Hansen & Deadliest Catch

 

Captain Sig Hansen joins Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to discuss life on an Alaska fishing boat. Hailed as the deadliest job in America, Hansen and his crew can earn tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of days so long as the crew is willing to risk their lives. Jon discusses safety on the boats and the motivation for why an individual would risk their lives.

Shameless — Hipsters in a Bar

In this clip you see a bar that’s on the South Side of Chicago. The bar is usually dead but very recently “hipsters” discovered the bar. They thought that the snide Russian bartender and expensive drinks made the place different and appealing to them. This bar serves cheap low end alcohol and in the video you can see price discrimination happening. The prices start to change and become higher when the bar serves the hipsters because they are able to pay those high prices versus the people from south side that can’t. The hipsters are also not realizing they are being scammed when the low end vodka is put in a more expensive brand’s bottle.

Thanks for the clip and summary Fiona Brandman!

The Hudsucker Proxy — The Hula Hoop

This is a clip from the movie “The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994). In the scene, the store owner have a hard time selling the Hula Hoop. He kept lower the price but still no one wants to buy the Hula Hoop even he end up giving them for free with any purchase. He then throw all them out of the store and one of them accidentally bump into a boy. The boy start playing with it and the other kids saw it. After that, they all run to the store for the Hula Hoop. As more and more kids tried to buy a Hula Hoop, the price goes up again and even higher than before.

This related to the idea of demand and supply. At first, the Hula Hoop was not popular for kids so there’s no one wants to buy it. However, after the kids saw the boy playing with it, their preference change. Preference can change the demand of a product. When the demand increase, the price of the product and the supply also increase.

Thanks for the clip and summary Yi Chun Liu.

Demolition Man — Economic Freedom

John Spartan (Stallone) wakes up from a cryogenic state to find that the world as he knows it has been “re-programmed” to follow morality statutes. He wakes up from his frozen state confused from all the changes.

Should people be allowed to do what they want so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else? That’s the question of economic freedom being presented in Demolition Man. In a more market-based system, people are free to do as they please even if it means that they’ll become unhealthy or do things that others may determine as weird. In a more command-based economy, everyone follows the same rules.

One Tree Hill — Boy Toy Auction

The Boy Toy auction gets a little heated as the ladies of One Tree Hill are down to the final boy, Nathan. The auction values start to get high, but they are intent on not letting the other ladies get Nathan. They work together to get the bid up to a point where no one else can participate.

ABC 20/20 — A Test on Looks

 

A 20/20 investigation into how we subtly discriminate based on looks when it comes to donating to charity. About 1/5 people in total donated money, but requesters who were rated as better looking raised more money than the other requesters. Better looking women were able to raise twice as much money as their counterparts.

The Simpsons — Free Rider

This clip presents a curious problem, class elections take place and one candidate is wildly more popular; however, the election doesn’t turn out the way one would expect. Ask your students what exactly is happening in this clip; and, if they’ve ever experienced it. This clip is good for teaching Free Riding as it pertains to voting and irrational voting.

Luccasen, R. Andrew, and M. Kathleen Thomas. “Simpsonomics: Teaching Economics Using Episodes of The Simpsons.” The Journal of Economic Education 41.2 (2010): 136-49. Print.

Find more at Adrian Fohr’s Critical Common’s page.

Up ↑