In case you missed it, last night's episode of The Office had everything an economist could ask for in a show. Below is the NBC Two Minute Replay and is well worth the watch, and as always it has the usual principal-agent problems. However, this episode went much further:
1. You got to see the bureaucracy model in action (spending the surplus or lose it).
2. The copier (commons property) is in terrible shape.
3. Michael Scott is looking for a way to spend $4,300 and all of a sudden he has lots of friends. It is perfect rent-seeking.
4. The problems of collective decision making.
5. Corporate's attempt to overcome the bureaucracy model with an incentive payment of 15%.
6. Michael foolishly puts his employees in a Rubinstein bargaining model, not realizing that the game ends in the first round of negotiations because of the perfect foresight and credible threat. He even does us the favor of stating the conditions of the game that generates this outcome!