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sarahhughes1996's avatar

What scene from any movie exemplifies the following economics terms?

Asked by sarahhughes1996 (127points) January 25th, 2014

I have to do a project in my Economics class where I have to find a scene from any movie that exemplifies the following economic terms: trade-off, opportunity cost, scarcity, and economizing.
My teacher defined these terms and gave an example of what we are supposed to do using the movie Finding Nemo.
Trade-off: What you give up in order to get something else (ex: lost his dad’s trust when he swam out to touch the boat)
Opportunity cost: Value of what was given up for what you wanted (ex: gained friends respect over the loss of his father’s trust)
Scarcity: lack of something (ex: lack of fish willing to swim out to touch the boat)
Economizing: making a decision (ex: either obey his dad or swim out and touch the boat).
Can you think of any movie scene that I can use?

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7 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

It sounds like if he can do this with Finding Nemo, he’s basically saying you can do it with any movie.

If you’re looking for inspiration, think about movies you like where decisions have to be made between two imperfect options. Love stories and war movies would be good places to start.

sarahhughes1996's avatar

I’m wanting to do an 80’s movie, because even though I wasn’t alive during the 80’s, that’s what my parents raised me on and that’s what I know. But, I can’t seem to find one scene in any movie that exhibits all of these. I can find maybe 2, but not all 4.

funkdaddy's avatar

In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, look at Ferris’s choice whether or not go to school, or Cameron’s choice whether or not to tell his dad about the car.

filmfann's avatar

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Trade-off: Indy threatens to blow up the Ark of the Covenant, unless Marian is released.
Opportunity cost: Indy initally values Marian’s freedom over his possession of the Ark.
Scarcity: “There is only one true Ark!”
Economizing: Indy lowers his bazooka, losing his freedom and Marian’s, so that the Ark would survive.

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t normally do people’s homework for them, but I’ll make an exception this time. It’s a ‘70s movie, so I hope you don’t mind. I offer you two or more examples for each from Debbie Does Dallas:

Trade-off: (1) Debbie gives up her free time to get a job to make money. She could be doing homework or cheerleading or something, but instead she is stuck working. (2) Debbie gives up her virginity to a disgusting sperglord in exchange for enough money to make a trip to train for an opportunity to be a cheerleader.

Opportunity cost: This concept is not so different from trade-off. (1) Debbie gives up her free time to work in Mr. Greenfield’s store. (2) Debbie can no longer get her cherry popped by someone she cares about, as she sells that opportunity to Mr. Greenfield.

Scarcity: (1) money is necessary to pay for the trip and the girls have one; (2) the men the girls have sex with exemplify scarcity as well, as they seem to lack access to sex.

Economizing: (1) Putting the two scarcity examples together, the girls exchange sex for money, and the men pay money for the opportunity to have sex. A voluntary, mutually beneficial exchange is made. (2) Debbie finally gives in to Mr. Greenfield, whom she didn’t want to have sex with, so he will pay for the trip.

bolwerk's avatar


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