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Seinfeld Economics: The Parking Garage (Public urination)

by Linda Ghent

Cost-benefit analysis involves, whether explicitly or implicitly, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of one or more actions in order to choose the best or most profitable option. Rational agents are assumed to never take an action for which the expected benefits are less than the expected costs.

From an economist's perspective, making choices involves thinking 'at the margin' - that is, making decisions based on small changes in resources. Doing so leads to the optimal decisions being made, subject to preferences, resources and informational constraints.

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 Parking Garage (Public urination)

Kramer has forgotten where he parked his car in a multi-level parking garage of a shopping mall and the gang walk around for an eternity looking for the car. Jerry needs to urinate and Kramer encourages him to do so in a dark corner where no one can see him. While doing so, he is spotted by an officer, and held in the officer's booth. Later in the episode, George is caught doing the same thing.

from Seinfeld, Season 3 (1991)
Creator: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Posted by Linda Ghent
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