Rationing and Allocating


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Price as a Rationer

This video of an advertisement for an auction site is rather funny in a dark way, but it is unclear what economic concept it illustrates. Perhaps it could be used to introduce a discussion of when it is appropriate to use price rationing and when it is not.

Non-Price Rationing

In 1939 Britain introduced war rationing with ration books. A government spokesman explains how the rationing system will work. His explanation takes about a minute, and then the second part of the clip explains the importance of recycling for the war effort.

This rather long (almost ten minutes) propaganda video from World-War-II Britain tells people how to deal with the shortages caused by price controls and the diversion of resources to the war effort.

Price Controls

Milton Friedman attacks minimum wage laws, arguing that they have the unintended consequence of unemployment among the least skilled. If he is correct, why are minimum wage laws so popular?

Prices: Incentives and Communication Device

Milton Friedman says that you cannot separate the what and how questions from the for-whom question. What is his reasoning or evidence?

Suppressing Market Information

India faced an economic crisis in the early 1990s as this sample from a PBS documentary explains. What was the source of this crisis? What changes did India make as a result. In the years since, have those changes worked or not?

This very entertaining and well-acted music video contains a number of economic ideas, including the importance of opportunity costs, the subjective nature of value, and the dispersion of knowledge in society.

These links were checked on October 8, 2013.
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Copyright Robert Schenk