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Seinfeld Economics: The Chinese Restaurant (Waiting at Restaurant)

by Linda Ghent

A rationing mechanism is a system for choosing who gets how many goods during a shortage. Long lines are often used to ration goods in shortage (so the good is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis). In addition, black markets often develop as a way of rationing goods that are in shortage.

Efficiency occurs when nothing more can be achieved given the resources available.


Seinfeld: The Chinese Restaurant (Waiting at Restaurant)

Elaine wonders why the restaurant uses a “first come, first served” allocation. She suggests that people should be seated based on hunger level.

from Seinfeld, Season 2 (1991)
Creator: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Posted by Linda Ghent