Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Corporation - for free!

One of the most interesting Economics movies of 2006 is now available for free legal download. "The Corporation" has been made available by its director here:

http://torrentfreak.com/sundance-winner-the-corporation-released-for-free-on-bittorrent/

The movie uses the techniques of Behavioural Economics to look at how multinational companies behave as they get bigger. It reaches the startling conclusion that left to their own devices, corporations demonstrate the same type of pathological behaviour only found elsewhere in gangsters, the criminally insane and American presidents.

Of course, Economics students will look at the movie in a balanced way - do the economies of scale created by large corporations, for example, increase economic well-being more than the negative externalities that they sometimes create? But overall, this is a gripping movie and very relevant to the section in Module 5 on corporate governance that we begin in January.

Another good movie circulating at the moment is Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" which looks at the aftermath of the New Orleans flood of 2005. There are interesting issues here related to inequality, government failure, externalities, global warming and so on. Well worth a look for all economists. More details can be found here:

http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/whentheleveesbroke/

When watching the movie, however, bear in mind that - terrible though the New Orleans disaster was - it was very small compared to the tsunami that struck Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka on December 26th, 2004 - a disaster in which 224,000 people died.

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