Linda S. Ghent is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Economics at Eastern Illinois University. She has been teaching economics for over 20 years and has been using popular culture in her classes. Recently, she developed a course called “Pop Culture Economics” that is taught as a Senior Seminar for non-economics majors. Many of the Seinfeld clips here are used in this course to help teach the principles of economics. Check it out.
Here are a couple of examples of rent control apartments:
In the coffee shop, Jerry and his friends discuss someone’s rent-controlled apartment. “50 years…they pay $300 a month.” Later, there’s a scene at the funeral home where they try to convince a grieving spouse to let them move into the apartment.
In another episode:
Jerry lives in a rent-controlled building. The only time an apartment opens up is when Mrs. Hudwalker dies because rent controls create immobility. Elaine and Jerry find out about the opening, and because Elaine happens to be first in line, she gets it for $400 per month. Subsequently, Jerry gets worried about having Elaine living so close, and tells Elaine that she can’t have the apartment–the super was offered a $5,000 bribe.
Source: The Economics of Seinfeld.