Price Controls, Subsidies, and the Risks of Good Intentions

When prices get too high, the government should put price controls in place, right? Not necessarily. A video from Crash Course Economics explains how price controls can affect the equilibrium price of a product, and potentially lead to a shortage or deadweight loss. Additionally, it discusses subsidies for agriculture and renewable energy, and their benefits and drawbacks in the real world.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Apply to a lesson about government regulation in the economy
  • Have learners engage in a role-play activity in which various industries try to keep their prices competitive amidst government subsidies and price controls
Classroom Considerations
  • First few seconds feature a joke that compares the term deadweight to your ex; the joke might appeal to teenagers or go over their heads, but isn't the best comment for a classroom setting
  • The video references Thomas Malthus in a discussion of starvation, which could lead to a quick lesson about the Malthusian catastrophe
  • Watch the comment section, as it is open to the public
  • The 20th video in a series of 35 about economics
  • Applies both economic mathematics and real-world examples to explain complex concepts
  • Animations are helpful and engaging
  • None