Tom wants to look good, and smell good, for Jessica Newport so he decides to sit for a few minutes in his “cologne cloud.” The smell is so overpowering though that Leslie needs to exit the car immediately. While Tom feels be benefits are worth the smell, Leslie isn’t a fan of the external effects.
The Parks Department is hosting a BBQ in the local park. Ron decides to bring a pig to the park because he wants people to see their food before consuming it. He is not allowed to because it is against the law and violates health codes despite his beliefs that he should be allowed to as the Parks Department director.
Ben is in DC working as a congressional intern and Leslie takes the opportunity to head to Washington, D.C. to ask for federal funding the clean up the Pawnee River, which is a bit of a “fixer-upper.” This rent seeking behavior is common when entities are seeking federal funding for items that will only benefit their areas.
The Parks Department of Pawnee invites delegates from their sister city in Baraguá, Venezuela to attend a local townhall meeting. This particular townhall meeting includes complaints about various externalities associated with parks including frisbees and dog feces. The Baraguá delegate describes the command and control approach used by his country when citizens impose externalities on others.
Andy goes to the hospital for a broken nose, but it turns into a rant session for Ben. It turns out the roommate situation between Ben, April, and Andy hasn’t been ideal because Andy and April continue to use his things without his permission. Andy and Ben negotiate for ways to remedy the externality on their own. If property rights are well established (Ben does own his stuff!) then two parties can work out externalities without government intervention.
See more: bargaining, Coase Theorem, common resources, externalities, negative externalities, private costs, private goods, public goods, social benefits, social costs, transaction costs, types of goods
Tom recognizes that he can be successful by standing behind successful people and taking partial credit. Free riders often disrupt the efficiency of markets because they receive the benefits without putting in the same level of costs. This rent seeking behavior is apparent in a variety of examples from public service to group projects.
The citizens of Pawnee drink from a water fountain by placing their whole mouth on the nozzle. Ann correctly points out the externality in the situation that by kissing one water fountain drinker, you’re kissing them all.