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The Black Market and the Silver Screen: Economics in the Third Man

13 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2008  

Mike Hammock

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Art Carden

Brock School of Business, Samford University; Independent Institute

Date Written: July 10, 2007

Abstract

The classic noir film The Third Man tells a story of a staged death, an over-inquisitive friend, and a hopeless lover, in the dark world of postwar Vienna. It is also an excellent demonstration of the effects of price controls and rationing, and of the unpleasant consequences of the resulting black markets. This essay shows how we can understand a character's actions using economic insights. More generally, we explore the economics of government price controls and coupon rationing and suggest that The Third Man provides a vivid illustration of their impact.

Suggested Citation

Hammock, Mike and Carden, Art, The Black Market and the Silver Screen: Economics in the Third Man (July 10, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1139186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1139186

Mike Hammock

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Murfreesboro, TN 37132
United States

Art Carden (Contact Author)

Brock School of Business, Samford University ( email )

800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.artcarden.com

Independent Institute ( email )

100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
United States

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