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Seinfeld Economics: The Hamptons

by Linda Ghent

A common resource is a type of good consisting of a natural or human-made resource system, whose size or characteristics makes it costly, but not impossible, to exclude potential beneficiaries from obtaining benefits from its use. Unlike pure public goods, common resources face problems of congestion or overuse, because they are rival. Examples of common resources include irrigation systems, fishing grounds, pastures, forests, water or the atmosphere.


Seinfeld: The Hamptons

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Kramer, at the beach in the Hamptons with friends, finds a rope dangling into the water and pulls up a pot full of lobsters. He serves them for dinner that night, and his host says that he's poached them from a commercial lobsterman. Kramer says, “What's the problem? There's plenty for everyone.” This highlights the wedge between individual incentives and optimal social outcomes.

from Seinfeld, Season 5 (1994)
Creator: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Posted by Linda Ghent