Super-Economics Man! Using Superheroes to Teach Economics

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People the world over are familiar with comic book heroes. These characters have been portrayed on pages, television and movie screens and even in song for decades. Comic storylines change as time marches on keeping them remarkably current, and characters are relaunched regularly so new readers can continually jump into the action. This heretofore untapped genre with extensive character development and complex plots is full of economic content. Using superheroes to illustrate economic concepts expands the educator’s tool bag for students in the K-12 space but certainly applies to undergraduates in a variety of classes as well. This paper will use superheroes to discuss several different topics including scarcity, opportunity costs, specialization, public goods, moral hazard, production functions, and utility.

Brian O’Roark


O’Roark, B. (2017). Super-Economics Man! Using Superheroes to Teach Economics. Journal of Economics Teaching, 2(1), 51-67. DOI: 10.58311/jeconteach/59c103378fbce8cf7065a7cca4bab7ed5fc49b21