The Economics Of Seinfeld

Also brought to you by the Internet: A Web site that uses Seinfeld episodes to explain economics. (The site's been up for a while now, but just got an upgrade.)

Take, as a seaonally appropriate example, the the episode where Jerry gives Elaine cash as a gift.

Economic lessons abound — you've got signaling, utility and, of course, the deadweight loss of gift-giving:

The deadweight loss of gift-giving is the loss of efficiency that occurs when the value of the gift to the recipient is less than the cost of the gift to the giver. In this case, economists argue that cash would be a more efficient gift.

For more on the economics of gifts, listen to our interview from last year with the Scroogenomics guy.

Hat Tip: Mankiw

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