Saturday, April 3, 2010

a wonderful life

Economic fallacies are especially abundant in films designed to teach business to children (72, 125). In Mrs. Peabody's Beach (125) a group of eager teenagers help an elderly woman ration space on her "groovy" surfing beach. These burgeoning entrepreneurs raise prices several times during the film, but always after costs have gone up. Are we back to one blade of Marshall's famous scissors?


Children's filmmakers treat the inconveniences of barter with originality and good humor (22, 24, 54, 158, 199). Unfortunately, when it comes to explaining the origin of money, they miss a splendid opportunity to highlight the spontaneity of the market. Instead of following Menger and Jevons, and attributing the origin of money to "invisible hand" mechanisms, the filmmakers introduce a king, "Big Daddy," or some central planner to create money by fiat.

From Film and the transmission of economic knowledge: a report, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 2010, Laurence S. Moss (again via MR)

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