Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Economics of the LEGO Movie

For the last couple of weeks in ECON110 we've been talking about the benefits of markets, and this week and next we are looking at the economics of government. Part of the latter includes looking at different economic systems, the economic functions of government, and what might be the optimal level of government involvement or intervention. Which made this video on the economics of the LEGO movie amazingly timely:

I don't necessarily agree with all aspects of what Andrew Heaton is arguing, which is pretty libertarian. After all, the market left to its own lightly-regulated devices led us into the Global Financial Crisis, for instance (see here or here, but the point about inadequate regulation and the GFC remains somewhat contested). So you could argue there is still a role for government even in markets that should in theory be able to operate independently.

I have to say though, that the video does a fantastic job of characterising the differences between the market economic system (or rather the mixed economic system) that is endemic across most of the western world, and the centrally-planned (command) economy as seen in the former Communist countries and pre-reform China (not so much nowadays, with economic reform even occurring in Cuba).

Actually the whole series of EconPop videos by EconStories is to be recommended. They are all pretty great. One warning though: if you watch the LEGO Movie, be prepared to have the theme tune (Everything is awesome) stuck in your head for days afterwards!

[HT: Eric Crampton at Offsetting Behaviour]

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