Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics
Edited by Joshua Hall
Some economics professors use The Simpsons to explain basic microeconomic principles to their classes. In this volume they contribute essays about money, market failure, externalities, and other concepts using examples drawn from the animated TV show. For example, an episode in which Homer gains weight so he can be classified as disabled (and thus be allowed to work from home) can help students understand the role of incentives and opportunity costs, the relation of means and ends, and how governmental policies affect individual behavior. When the Simpsons get an elephant and sell rides for $2, Homer rejoices at $58 earned until he discovers that food costs $300. He raises the cost of a ride to $500, and his revenues fall to zero.