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The Economics of Seinfeld

So, this website called brings economic concepts to life by making them more relative to students. This website illustrates economic concepts from 200 scenes of Seinfeld. BusinessWeek  states that Economics is about how:

people make decisions [and] about how [they have to] act in certain situations.

Want an example?

Elaine’s Big Salad: The Big Salad illustrates concepts of altruism and utility. At Elaine’s request, George purchases a “big salad” for her from Monk’s. When his girlfriend appears to take credit for this, George becomes obsessed over the issue. His altruism is not pure: George derives utility from the fact that the purchase is associated with his generosity.

The Chinese Restaurant: illustrates opportunity costs and rationing mechanisms . Jerry and his friends go to a restaurant but must stand in line and wait for a table. He ultimately is willing to pay to get a table.

The Muffin Tops: illustrates complements, economic bads and substitutes.  Elaine and her old boss find that selling just the tops of muffins is more profitable than selling the whole muffin (which consists of the top + the stump). So are the top and the stump complements or substitutes? Neither–the stumps are an economic bad, which reduce utility. Evidence for this is found in the fact that homeless people won’t eat the stumps that the muffin-top restaurant throws away, unless they come with the tops as compensation.

Jujubes, The Opposite: illustrates sunk cost thinking at the margin. Elaine is to meet her boyfriend at the theater. She gets a message at the ticket booth that he’s been in an accident. Before leaving to see him at the hospital, she stops for popcorn and Jujubes, reasoning that she can’t change the past so she might as well maximize at the margin.

and ofcourse,

The Soup Nazi: illustrates barriers to entry and monopoly power. The Soup Nazi makes delicious soup—so good there’s always a line outside his shop. He refuses service to Elaine, and by a stroke of luck she comes across his stash of soup recipes. She visits his shop and informs him that his soup monopoly is broken, while waving his recipes in his face. Also in this clip, George gets charged $2 for a roll that everyone else gets for free. This example of price discrimination shows that in order to charge different customers different prices, you must have market power.

Excellent idea Linda, Alan and George.


About Amena Khan

Thinker | Minimalist | Writer | MBA | Fearless | Always 110% | Global Citizen | Limited Edition | The proof of the pudding is in the eating


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Amena Khan

Thinker | Minimalist | Writer | Fearless | Always 110% | Global Citizen | Limited Edition |

Hope your encounter with me is an inspirational one.

Amena’s tweets

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