The Economics of The Office

Learning economics from the world's best boss

Textbook Tear

In this silly clip, we see Michael's disdain for economics and traditional learning. Michael abuses the trust of a student in ruining a textbook that clearly has value to the student.

Season 3 Episode 16 "Business School" Caution!

Teaching of Economics (A20)

Michael

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Candy Bars

In this clip, we see that Michael doesn't really understand very much about business or economics but he does have a clever way of explaining his limited knowledge through the use of candy bars!

Season 3 Episode 16 "Business School" Caution!

Teaching of Economics (A20)

Michael

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Write That Down

In this clip, Michael tries to explain the concept of profits and business decisions and the demand for paper. Clearly, Michael does not understand how technological changes have influenced demand for paper!

Season 3 Episode 16 "Business School" Caution!

Teaching of Economics (A20) Technological Change (O30)

Michael Ryan

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Business School

Another example of why not to invest in multilevel marketing. Michael explains he “lost all of his money in a pyramid scheme” when he was an undergraduate. After that clip there are several discussions about business which I think are worth keeping and faculty can evaluate as they see fit.

Season 2 Episode 3 "The Fire"

Teaching of Economics (A20)

Michael Ryan Dwight

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Ungifting

This scene is about property rights and gift giving. Michael and Dwight try to prove that face to face sales work more effectively than new technologies and provide gift baskets for their clients. They decide to take the gifts back from a law firm when the firm does not elect to move their business to Dunder Mifflin. “Un-gifting” does not seem to be legal or appropriate but Michael and Dwight attempt to do this anyway. Michael exclaims “WHERE ARE THE TURTLES!” as he tries to get his gift back. (This clip was suggested by Jon Wilson, an undergraduate student at Kansas State University).

Season 4 Episode 2 "Dunder Mifflin Infinity"

Teaching of Economics (A20) Market Structure and Pricing (D40)

Michael Dwight

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Cyclical Unemployment

Pam discusses her difficulty finding a job in a difficult economy.

Season 5 Episode 18 "Broke"

Teaching of Economics (A20) Unemployment (J60)

Michael Pam Ryan

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Cyclical vs. Structural Unemployment

Michael quit his job (frictional unemployment) but finds out that the economy is in a severe downturn (cyclical unemployment). This demonstrates the idea that most workers are more willing to engage in a job search when cyclical unemployment is high ceteris paribus.

Season 5 Episode 14 "Two Weeks"

Teaching of Economics (A20) Unemployment (J60)

Michael Pam

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