The Economics of The Office

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Dunder Mifflin Infinity

In this clip (from deleted scenes) we can demonstrate a good example of structural unemployment. Due to an advance in technology the skills of the Dunder Mifflin accountants will no longer be needed. Obviously from here students may want to discuss cyclical and frictional unemployment (which can be demonstrated when Michael foolishly quits his job with no real plan for his job search in season five).

Season 4 Episode 3 "Dunder Mifflin Infinity"

Technological Change (O30) Unemployment (J60)

Michael Pam Ryan Oscar Angela Kevin

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Conflict Resolution Part 1

In this clip, Michael attempts to resolve a conflict between Oscar and Angela. One application of this clip is to reiterate the idea that voluntary trade results in a "win win" situation. This clip also can be used when showing outcomes on an aggregate supply/aggregate demand framework. When we have a major increase in aggregate supply (something like the IT revolution in the 1990's) it results in lower levels of inflation and unemployment or a "win win" outcome. (maybe even win, win, win!)

Season 2 Episode 21 "Conflict Resolution"

Inflation (E31) Unemployment (J60) Trade (F10) Macroeconomic Models (E10)

Michael Pam Oscar Angela Toby

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Conflict Resolution Part 2

Similar to the applications in Part 1, the "win lose" outcome in this clip can be used to talk about the expected trade off between inflation and unemployment when many polices are implemented.

Season 2 Episode 21 "Conflict Resolution"

Inflation (E31) Unemployment (J60) Macroeconomic Policy (E60)

Michael Toby

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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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