Ireland’s first win against the All Blacks in New Zealand – Behavioural Economics

You maybe aware that the rugby game tonight between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dunedin created history. It was the first time that Ireland have beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand. Remember they did beat the ABs in Dublin and Chicago.

Irish supporters, including myself, will take great pleasure in talking about such a result – I was at Eden Park last Saturday and disappointed at the number of mistakes Ireland made. What all this alludes to is the fact that as part of this entertainment comes without the public paying for it, the public benefits from an externality.

Those Irish supporters who traveled to Dunedin for the game will have no doubt spent a significant amount of NZ dollars tonight in the bars and restaurants around town. Nevertheless the satisfaction (utility) derived in NZ dollars from the game would have been much greater than the price Irish supporters would have paid for the ticket. This suggest that there is a lot of consumer surplus present – the difference between the price that a consumer WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY, and the price that he or she actually HAS TO PAY. The success of the Irish team will boost merchandise sales and interest for the World Cup next year in France but more importantly it has been good for rugby in general with throwing the World Cup wide open. When the All Blacks play overseas there are significant externalities whether it be the revenue generated in hosting the match or the social benefits to society.

Furthermore the lead up to the game brings about a sense of delayed gratification (Behavioural Economics). Looking ahead the fact that people have paid for tickets to the World Cup means that they can reap the pleasures of anticipation of being there. Research (Smarter Spending – see previous post) shows that owning material things from expensive homes to luxurious cars turn out to provide less pleasure than holidays, concerts or even witnessing Ireland beating the All Blacks – where were you when Ireland beat the All Blacks in Dunedin? With Ireland’s win national pride increases, along with patriotism and people feeling better about themselves. This is turn brings people together and boosts well-being of the nation. As for the All Blacks they will learn from this defeat and it makes for a great game next week in Wellington. Go Ireland!

For more on Consumer and Producer Surplus view the key notes (accompanied by fully coloured diagrams/models) on elearneconomics that will assist students to understand concepts and terms for external examinations, assignments or topic tests.

Quota and Allocative Efficiency

Below are notes on Quota and Allocative Efficiency from elearneconomics.

When the government imposes a quota (a restriction on the quantity that can be produced, exported or imported) it forces the market price up and decreases the quantity sold or produced. Because the market is not allowed to clear (restore or reach the equilibrium) there is a loss of allocative efficiency (termed a deadweight loss). Part of the original consumer surplus and producer surplus is not picked up as part of the quota. Consumer surplus and producer surplus are no longer maximised.


At the original equilibrium (P1, Q1) the value of consumer surplus for butter is $80m (0.5 x 40m x $40, area P3CP1) and the value of producer surplus for butter is $160m (0.5 x 40m x $8, area P1CP0), the market is allocatively efficient because consumer surplus and producer surplus are maximised. When the government imposes a quota and restricts the quantity to 30m (Qs) there is a change in consumer surplus, producer surplus and allocative efficiency.

The total value of consumer surplus decreases by $35m because consumer surplus before the quota was $80m and is now $45m (0.5 x 30m x $3, area P3BP2). The higher price means that the difference between what consumers are willing to pay and what they actually pay will decrease. The lower quantity demanded (30m units rather than 40m units) means there are fewer units from which wool buyers can gain a surplus. Therefore, consumer surplus will decrease.

The total value of producer surplus increases by $20m because producer surplus before the quota was $160m and is now $180m ($9 plus $3 divided by 2 multiplied by 30m area P2BFP0). Producer surplus will increase despite some loss of producer surplus due to the lower quantity sold, 30m (Qs) rather than 40m (Q1). The increase in producer surplus is a result of the higher price from the quota that is more than sufficient to offset the loss of producer surplus due to lower sales. Overall producer surplus increases.

There will be a loss of allocative efficiency because the loss in consumer surplus (CS) of $35m outweighs the gain in producer surplus (PS) of $20m, which results in a net welfare loss (deadweight loss) of $15m (0.5 x 10m x $3, area BCF). This is because producer surplus and consumer surplus are no longer maximised following the imposition of the quota on butter.

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