Seinfeld: The Baby Shower
This is a clip from Seinfeld in which Kramer tries to talk Jerry into installing illegal cable. Jerry is worried about the illegality of such a move and tells Kramer, "No." However, Jerry eventually gives in once he discovers that there will be 75 televised Mets games on TV. Now, his marginal benefit is greater than his marginal cost.
- To gain an understanding how marginal analysis is used in decision making.
Context for Use
This clip is appropriate after the instructor has initially described marginal analysis and rational behavior to students. Students will be able to see that an individual is more likely to undertake an activity if marginal benefit rises.
Description and Teaching Materials
The clip comes from Seinfeld, Season 2, Disc 2. The scene runs from 5:58 to 8:22. After the clip, the instructor will want to ask why Jerry initially refused to install illegal cable and why he changed his mind.
Teaching Notes and Tips
This clip provides an excellent introduction to black markets. There is also an important ethical dilemma here that is likely to spark a spirited discussion. Ask your students to describe the marginal costs and marginal benefits of stealing cable TV.
Many other examples of legal and illegal behavior can be used to discuss or illustrate marginal analysis including:
- skipping class
- eating breakfast
- living in a residence hall
References and Resources
The Economics of Seinfeld
website provides more than 90 suggested scenes for Principles courses.