Archive for the ‘Utility’ Category

Eagles vs. Chickens   Leave a comment

white-oak-pastures-bald-eagles-3-2--8a659fb85864863fa192f7d90300cd9bfecde5b2-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/03/513302816/episode-752-eagles-vs-chickens

Summary: One farmer had what seemed like a great environmentally conscious plan to fertilize his soil.  However, Eagles threw his plan of offering Whole foods consumers organic chicken into disarray.  Planet Money discusses how the unintended consequences impacted farmer’s plan.

Original Air Date: February 3, 2017

Length: 17 minutes 28 seconds

Discussion Question: What were the unintended consequences of the farmer’s choice to use chickens to fertilize the soil? Explain how unintended consequences are important to economics.

A New 3-D Pen Lets Kids Create Their Own Toys   Leave a comment

3DoodlerSeaLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/02/22/tech/3d-pen-kids-wins-best-toy-award-toy-fair-2017

Summary: Educational technology toys are a hot new trend in the toy market.  One company, Bogue, introduced a new concept allowing kids to create their own toys through a 3-D printer.  Marketplace introduces how Bogue is competing with giant toy companies.

Original Air Date: February 22, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 15 seconds

Discussion Question: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages Bogue has with creating a new category in the market? How does this impact competition?

Lance Armstrong and the Business of Doping   Leave a comment

ap_lancearmstrong_webimage-c6dda44fa3de77fde1ceace1025a651fd9438ca5-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/04/27/475929464/episode-417-lance-armstrong-and-the-business-of-doping

Summary: Back in the 2000’s, Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service Cycling team were going all out to win the Tour de France.  After the doping scandal was uncovered, the business behind the team was discovered.  Planet Money discusses how professional cycling was dominated by doping, and how it was set up like a business.

Original Air Date: April 27, 2016

Length: 18 minutes 25 seconds

The Return of the Colonel   Leave a comment

kfc-photo-61bd6786f4d94ceb7e19d62f8c8cd92f6897aa70-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/02/17/467108611/episode-684-the-return-of-the-colonel

Summary: Colonel Sanders passed away years ago, which began the strained relationship between KFC Corporate and the KFC Franchises.  After a disastrous Oprah segment leading to a free giveaway, the relationship hit rock bottom.  Planet Money discusses how re-introducing Colonel Sanders (the character), led to happier franchises and more sales for corporate.

Original Air Date: February 17, 2016

Length: 15 minutes 2 seconds

Why Do We Tip?   Leave a comment

tipping-71e24965a60e3a967405193ceb365075c19afd1d-s1600-c85.jfifLink:   http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/01/20/463726763/episode-283-why-do-we-tip

Summary: Tipping has become a staple in many industries in today’s society.  The common belief is that with better service results in a better tip.  Planet Money discusses whether a tip really is an incentive to give better service, or if it is now expected regardless of service.

Original Air Date: January 20, 2016

Length: 17 minutes 36 seconds

Discussion Question: Is it unethical to not give a tip if good service was given? Or is it unethical to expect a tip given it is a loss for the consumer? Discuss the incentives and utility for both the consumer and employee regarding tips.

The Miracle Apple   Leave a comment

honeycrisp-5c3b641931b075344e3419366ffbd570686d8cee-s1600-c85-jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/10/12/497697621/episode-627-the-miracle-apple

Summary: Years ago, the only classifications for apples was based on color: red, green or yellow.  Planet Money discusses how one researcher from Minnesota changed the apple market by introducing an apple that was actually tasty for retail consumers.

Original Air Date: October 12, 2016

Length: 14 minutes 7 seconds

Discussion Question: By putting a patent or a trademark on a type of apple, how does that affect supply and demand? How does it affect competition in the market?

Dear Economist, I Need A Date   Leave a comment

hearts-a7005807b2f51f3d19a6d6b332896854a9a7b5dc-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/03/01/517985813/episode-513-dear-economist-i-need-a-date

Summary: Love isn’t a word you would normally associate with Economics.  Applying the principles of Economics to your relationships seems preposterous.  But is it?  Planet Money discusses how economics are beneficial to your love life and can help you save on the one cost of love: time.

Original Air Date: March 1, 2017

Length: 23 minutes 13 seconds