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Labor Market Structures

Curbside Pickup

Cloud 9 is offering curbside pickup so that their lazier customers can have a better shopping experience. Monopolistically competitive firms often compete on non-price aspects, so offering curbside pickup may entice new customers to increase their demand. Since they aren’t hiring more workers, the employees are now required to work more, which they don’t see as fair. This increased demand following curbside pickup should result in an increased demand for labor, but the workers only seem to be working more.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Rationing During a Blizzard

A blizzard hits the St. Louis area and customers are lined up to purchase items they now need. Garrett announces that the store has decided to ration all types of water rather than raise prices in an attempt to prevent people from hoarding water. Another alternative allocation mechanism would be to raise prices, but they have opted instead for an authoritarian approach. As Garrett names the different products under rationing, we also get a list of substitute products which shows the range of product differentiation at the store.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Uber Surge Pricing

A large blizzard has hit the area and the employees have finally decided to go home. While outside, some of the employees appear stuck because public transportation may not be working. Garrett suggests a few of them share an Uber, but because of the increased demand for transportation, the ride is surging to $1,400. The employees decide to head back inside.

Categories
Supply & Demand

PB&J Candles

While shopping, Jerry recommends getting a candle for their nightstand. He finds a peanut butter scented candle and recommends it to Sandra, who apparently already found a jelly scented candle. Peanut butter and jelly are often used as the classic example of complements in consumption. The price of one item is inversely related to the demand for the other item. Are there other candle scents that could complementary?

Categories
Supply & Demand

Willingness to Settle

Mateo has been injured on the job and Cloud 9 is hoping to pay him enough so that he doesn’t sue the company. The problem? Mateo is undocumented and can’t accept the payment because he doesn’t have a social security number. Jeff (the regional manager) doesn’t know the reason and assumes that Mateo is just holding out for more money.

When it comes to buying things (in this case, Mateo’s right to sue), people rarely share their willingness to pay from the beginning. In an effort to earn some consumer surplus, people try to get things for less than they’re willing to pay.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Bo Buys a Hot Tub

Glenn and Jerusha want to have another child, but they need to find a surrogate. Cheyenne mistaken agrees to do it and tries to back out, but her boyfriend is supportive of the decision after learning that they’ll earn $20,000. He decides to spend that money (which he calls infinite money) on a new hot tub. The increase in their income results in an increase in their demand for normal goods. In this case, the hot tub is likely income-elastic.

Categories
Health Supply & Demand

Healthcare or a Messenger Bag

Mateo came down with an ear infection and his coworkers helped raise funds from store customers. He was secretly able to get some antibiotics so the money that was raised doesn’t need to go to a doctor’s visit. Instead, he considers spending the money on a messenger bag instead of healthcare.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Demand During Rebranding

Cloud 9 is rebranding their store product line, moving from Halo Brand to SuperCloud. With the switch, the store has marked the old products down by 80%. Cheyenne wants to buy as much of the old merchandise as she possibly can because of the discount. Glenn tells her she cannot set those items aside during store hours, but she is scared they will be all gone by the time her shift is over. She decides to try and hide the products around the store.

Categories
Supply & Demand

A Sudden Increase in Income

Jonah finds a wallet with $906 in the shorts that Amy ended up with in a lost and found activity. Amy wants to pay her pending bills or help her family with household repairs. Jonah convinces her to spend it on herself, instead of doing something that he considers boring. Amy decides she wants to treat herself to a spa visit. When the other employees find out that she has that money, they ask for things for the break room that are needed, but also ask for things that would be considered luxuries.

Categories
Supply & Demand

Shortage of Pepto

A lot of the employees have food poisoning from the morning’s potluck. Mateo approaches Cheyenne about some Pepto Bismol, but she raises the price to account for the fact that she has purchased the entire store’s stock.