The Intersection of Marginal Revenue Productivity Theory and Livestreaming Platforms for Collectibles


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 02, 2023

4 min read


The Intersection of Marginal Revenue Productivity Theory and Livestreaming Platforms for Collectibles


In the world of economics, the concept of marginal revenue productivity theory of wages plays a significant role in determining wage levels based on the value of labor. On the other hand, the rise of livestreaming platforms has revolutionized the way collectors buy and sell items like Pokémon cards. Surprisingly, these seemingly unrelated topics share some common ground and intersect in interesting ways.

The Marginal Revenue Productivity Theory of Wages:

The marginal revenue productivity theory of wages is a model that aligns wage levels with the value of labor as it relates to revenue generation. It calculates the marginal revenue product (MRP) of a worker by multiplying the marginal product of labor (MPL) with the marginal revenue (MR). The MRP represents the additional revenue produced by the last laborer employed. It is important to note that the change in output is not solely attributed to the additional worker but also takes into account the impact on the productivity of existing workers due to diminishing marginal returns.

Livestreaming Platforms and Whatnot's Journey:

Whatnot, a livestreaming platform, initially focused on categories like pins and Pokémon cards. They aimed to create a live shopping experience that resembled a TV shopping network, albeit with individuals at home using their iPhones to sell items to fellow collectors. However, they faced a challenge when it came to livestreaming on Instagram Live. The platform wasn't designed to handle bidding or facilitate payments after a sale occurred.

The Rise of Card Breaks:

One particular type of livestreaming event on Whatnot gained immense popularity among collectors - the "card break." In this format, users pool their money to purchase entire boxes of trading card packs, often ones that are no longer in production and are highly sought after. Each user is assigned a number that corresponds to a pack within the box, and during the livestream, the packs are opened, and their contents are sent to the lucky owner associated with the pack's number.

Exploring the Connection:

At first glance, the connection between the marginal revenue productivity theory of wages and livestreaming platforms for collectibles may not be apparent. However, a deeper analysis reveals some intriguing parallels. Both concepts involve the calculation of value based on incremental contributions. In the case of the MRP theory, it is the incremental revenue generated by additional labor, while livestreaming platforms determine value through the incremental excitement and engagement generated by the live selling experience.

Moreover, both concepts take into account the impact on existing entities. In the MRP theory, the addition of a new worker affects the average productivity of other workers, just as each participant in a card break livestream affects the overall experience for others. This interplay between individual contributions and their impact on the collective is a common thread that weaves through these seemingly disparate domains.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the Power of Live Selling: If you are involved in the collectibles market, consider leveraging livestreaming platforms like Whatnot to create an engaging and interactive selling experience. Explore innovative formats like card breaks to tap into the enthusiasm of collectors and create a sense of community.
  • 2. Evaluate the Value of Labor: For businesses, it is crucial to assess the value of labor based on the marginal revenue productivity theory. By understanding the incremental revenue generated by each worker, you can align wages with the value they bring to the organization. This approach promotes fairness and efficiency in your workforce.
  • 3. Foster Collaborative Environments: Recognize the influence of individual contributions on the collective experience. Encourage teamwork and collaboration to enhance productivity and create a positive environment where everyone's efforts are valued. By fostering a sense of community, you can maximize the potential of your workforce or livestreaming platform.


As we delve into the worlds of economics and livestreaming platforms for collectibles, we discover unexpected connections. The marginal revenue productivity theory of wages and the rise of livestreaming platforms intersect through the concepts of incremental value and the impact of individual contributions on the collective. By embracing the power of live selling, evaluating the value of labor, and fostering collaborative environments, we can harness these insights to drive success in both domains.

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