Released in January 2021, Lupin is a Netflix television show inspired by the beloved Arsène Lupin, a fictional thief and master of disguise created by French writer Maurice Leblanc in 1905. Lupin was Netflix’s most-watched global show, with more than 70 million accounts watching the show within the first three months. More than 30 percent of Netflix subscribers have viewed the French series.
- Clip URL: https://criticalcommons.org/view?m=VzudIuY65
- Concept: Price Elasticities, Supply and Demand, Equilibrium, Organized Markets, Auction Markets.
- Background: In this clip, the Queen’s Necklace, given to Marie-Antoinette by Louis XVI, is auctioned off with a starting price of 17 million euros. Assane Diop starts with a bid of 33 million euros and ends up purchasing the necklace for 60 million euros. The necklace behind the episode is, in fact, real. The so-called “affair of the necklace” was a scandal that discredited the French monarchy in 1785 on the eve of the French revolution. The jewelry was comprised of 647 diamonds weighing 2,840 carats (Lever, 2013).
- Question 1: What is the value of the price elasticity of supply for the Queen’s Necklace? Explain why the necklace is sold for much more than its intrinsic value.
- Question 2: Draw the supply curve for the Queen’s Necklace. Suppose the demand curve is: Q = 100 – 1.65P. What is the equilibrium price?
- Question 3: The Queen’s necklace was sold during an auction. However, this is not how we typically purchase our goods and services, not even jewelry. Most people buy those in stores where the price is already defined and usually with a price tag. Why are unique pieces of jewelry, such as the Queen’s necklace, typically sold during an auction? How does that differ from going to the jewelry store?
- Clip URL: https://criticalcommons.org/view?m=V4mUQXodW
- Concept: Liquid asset
- Background: Before the Queen’s Necklace, Assane had already stolen several pieces of jewelry, such as diamonds, earrings, and gold from an elderly woman.
- Question: Using the concept of liquidity, discuss how liquid jewelry is and explain why Assane mainly focuses on stealing jewelry instead of art.
- Clip URL: https://criticalcommons.org/view?m=DOrqvguqW
- Concepts: Price discrimination, price strategies
- Background: When Assane was a teenager, Claire needed a violin for her recital. The violin rental price for one day was 350 francs, while the price was just 1500 francs for the entire week.
- Question 1: Why is the owner offering to rent the violin for a week for less than 2,450 francs (7 x 350)?
- Question 2: This question may be too hard for a principles course but could fit an IO or Intermediate microeconomics lesson about price discrimination. Let’s verify why this strategy increases profits. For this, we need to consider two customers. Jean is willing to pay 350 francs for a day with the violin but only 800 francs for a week. Issa would pay. Show that the seller strategy allows maximizing profit when Jean and Issa are the only consumers (assume the seller has two violins and has no cost). Preferences can be presented using this matrix:
|1 Day||1 Week|