Boston — Rock & Roll Band (1976)

This song is older but is still useful as a discussion about investing in human capital. Human capital is much more than just getting a degree. Human capital also involves general knowledge (what do you know?), skills (what can you do?), experience (where have you been?), and personal characteristics (are you reliable? do you work well with others?). If you have a small enough class, ask students to identify investment in these characteristics based on the story in the song. Not only does the song tell a good story, but it also shows that there’s more than one way to get an education.

Thanks to Bryan Sloss for the submission and summary!

I Can See Your Voice — Asymmetric Information

Could you tell if someone is a good singer just by the way they look or by how they lip-sync a song? In this music game show, contestants perform a variety of tasks and judges have to decide whether or not the person is actually a good singer. The show’s host and the performers know the truth, but the judges are left in the dark. This show, and even just the concept of the show, is a great example of asymmetric information. For judges, it’s hard to make decisions with limited information, but they’ll use signals to see if they can be successful.

Full episodes of I Can See Your Voice can be found on Fox:

Thanks to Shreyasee Das for the recommendation!

Castlevania — The Importance of a Ship Captain

Issac and his friends are in search of a ship and finds a captain who isn’t current sailing. Issac threatens to kill the Captain and take the boat, but the Captain reminds him of how important it is to have the captain on the boat since he knows how to actual sail the boat. Isaac thinks that sailing a boat can’t be that hard, but the Captain points out that sailors exist for a reason. He is willing to sail Isaac and his friends as long as he is paid and promised not the be murdered. This scene is a good example of the double coincidence of wants and the importance of specialization and trade. The Captain has years of experience sailing ships while Isaac does not. It’s worth it to Isaac to trade coins for the Captain’s skills.

Thanks to Bryan Sloss for the clip recommendation

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