Bees, Pollination, and the Coase Theorem

Note: This is post #39 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. In this video by Marginal Revolution University, economist Alex Tabarrok shows how bees and pollination demonstrate the Coase Theorem in action: when transaction costs are low and property rights are clearly defined, private arrangements ensure that the market works even when there are externalities. Continue Reading...

What the flu can teach us about economics

Note: This is post #37 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. What can the flu teach us about economics? In this video, Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution University explains how vaccines produce positive externalities that help people stay healthy. Continue Reading...

An introduction to externalities

Note: This is post #36 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. What are externalities and what are the different kinds of costs? And what does this have to do with the rise of “superbugs”? Continue Reading...

The problem with tariffs and protectionism

Note: This is post #34 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. How do tariffs affect consumers? What about producers? Who wins and who loses? In this video by Marginal Revolution University, economist Alex Tabarrok looks at the costs and consequences of tariffs, quotas, and protectionism. Continue Reading...

Should Martha Stewart iron her own shirts?

Note: This is post #33 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. Comparative advantage explains why people trade and what goods they should trade. To illustrate the concept of comparative advantage, Marginal Revolution University’s Alex Tabarrok asks, “Should Martha Stewart iron her own shirts?” Even if Martha Stewart has an absolute advantage in ironing shirts, her opportunity cost is simply too high. Continue Reading...

What is comparative advantage?

Note: This is post #32 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. What is comparative advantage? And why is it important to trade? In this video by Marginal Revolution University, economist Don Boudreaux guides us through a specific example surrounding Tasmania — an island off the coast of Australia that experienced the miracle of growth in reverse. Continue Reading...

The big ideas of trade

Note: This is post #31 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. Trade makes people better off, but how? In this video economist Tyler Cowen discuss the importance of specialization and division of knowledge, and how specialization leads to improvements in knowledge, which then lead to improvements in productivity. Continue Reading...

Price Controls and Communism

Note: This is post #30 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. What happens when price controls are used in communist countries? As Alex Tabarrok explains, all of the effects of price controls become amplified: there are even more shortages or surpluses of goods, lower product quality, longer lines and more search costs, more losses in gains from trade, and more misallocation of resources. Continue Reading...

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