Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Economics of Seinfeld

The website "The Economics of Seinfeld" (notice the URL is yadayadayadaecon.com) is operated by three economics professors (two at Eastern Illinois University and one at Baker University), and they explain it here:

"Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a “show about nothing.” Basically, the show allows viewers to follow the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer as they move through their daily lives, often encountering interesting people or dealing with special circumstances. It is the simplicity of Seinfeld that makes it so appropriate for use in economics courses. Using these clips (as well as clips from other television shows or movies) makes economic concepts come alive, making them more real for students. Ultimately, students will start seeing economics everywhere – in other TV shows, in popular music, and most importantly, in their own lives."

Dozens of Seinfeld episodes are identified for highlighting specific economic principles like price ceilings, incentives, imperfect information, moral hazard, marginal analysis, cost-benefit analysis, game theory, arbitrage (the famous "Bottle Deposit" episode), free entry and exit, etc.  

HT: Link Exchange


At 10/20/2010 9:09 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this sort of thing works really well. if you can provided concrete examples, it really drives the econ home.

my advisor use to let those of us in the experimental econ/game theory class develop teching games for the econ 101 classes. the sections that used them did MUCH better on tests later.

actually going through the motions of finding a price equilibrium through an outcry system really drives home how it works and where it settles. seeing it work gives people confidence int he theory, which can otherwise seem a bit abstract,.

this sounds like a great idea.

At 10/20/2010 12:48 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Too bad the students they are teaching will say, 'Seinfeld, Who?'. But a great idea. Maybe there's a rap thing that would work, also.

At 10/20/2010 4:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Too bad the students they are teaching will say, 'Seinfeld, Who?'"...

Heck! I'm older than those students and probably the professors using this 'Seinfeld method' and I'm asking, "Seinfeld who?"...

At 10/21/2010 7:22 AM, Blogger Plamen said...

May I contribute this: http://www.princeton.edu/~dixitak/home/Elaine.pdf ?


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