Chapter 4: Bo knows property rights and futures markets: economics in Trading Places
Economists often need practical examples of the propositions discussed in class. Many such examples are provided in Trading Places, which, in addition to being an entertaining movie, illustrates a number of important points about economics, including the role of property rights, the costs of discrimination, the importance (and definition) of profit and the role of expectations and information in determining resource allocation across space and time. The movie is rich in lessons about basic economics and would make a valuable addition to any economist's pedagogical toolkit for its illustration of commodities and futures markets. A summary and explanation of the movie's economic content is given as well as implications for natural resources and the role of property rights.
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