As the most successful sitcom of all time, the television series Seinfeld provides a rich environment for learning basic economic principles. Chronicling the lives of four close friends—Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer—the show highlights human behavior at its best and its worst.
The major characters paint themselves as some of the most self-interested individuals in all of popular culture, and are faced with dilemmas that force them to make decisions. Those decisions are at the heart of economics. Each chapter in this book explores one or more key economic concepts and relates them to key scenes from the show. These principles are then applied to other real-world situations, arming readers with the tools needed to make better economic decisions.
Written in a light-hearted and conversational style, this book is a must-read for fans of Seinfeld and anyone who wants to learn something from "the show about nothing." It is an ideal supplement for all economics classes.
Table of Contents
1. I Cannot Spare a Square: Scarcity, Trade-Offs, and Opportunity Cost
2. Mastering Your Domain: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Incentives
3. Ending World Hunger: The Gains from Exchange
4. No Soup for You: How Market Structure Alters Your Choices
5. Low Flow? I Don’t Like the Sound of That: Interference in the Market
6. My Rods and Cones are All Screwed Up! Living with Externalities
7. I Am Gonna Beat the Hell Out of This Car: Markets with Asymmetric Information
8. A Man Without Hand Is Not a Man: Strategic Behavior
9. $182 Is Nothing to Sneeze At: Are People Always Rational and Is Rationality the Best Thing?
Epilogue. You’ve Read the Book and Yada...Yada...Yada…, You’re Now an Economist!
Linda S. Ghent is Professor of Economics at Eastern Illinois University, U.S.A.
Alan P. Grant is Professor of Economics at Baker University, U.S.A.