Economics of Downton Abbey: Echoes of Marx

(Season Five, Episode Seven) While watching episode seven, I kept thinking about how it could be used to teach some of Karl Marx’s fundamental principles.  Marx is a polarizing figure in a lot of ways – most economists don’t think much of his economic theory – but many of his observations on inequality and exploitation retain a…

Economics of Downton Abbey: A Place for Ms. Bunting

(Season Five, Episode Five) On Episode Five we watch Sarah Bunting say her goodbyes. A polarizing figure in the Downton universe, she deserves her own post for her final appearance on the show. So today, I’m making my case for her to join a teachers’ union. First, a little background: In the 1920s women’s employment opportunities rested in a narrow…

Economics of Downton Abbey: Building on the Estate

(Season Five Episode Four) First, I am so glad that Lord Grantham is supportive of Mrs. Patmore’s efforts to have Archie remembered alongside other soldiers. Even if it is prohibited, it’s a nice gesture recognizing the unfair stigma surrounding cowardice during World War I. And now on to this week’s topic: building on the estate. Episode Four continued…