Monday, August 20, 2007

The Semester Begins

It's time for a new academic year, and classes here start on Wednesday. Here are some highlights from my Econ 101 Syllabus:

The primary textbook is Landsburg, Steven E., Price Theory, Seventh Edition, Thomson Southwestern, 2007.
The secondary text is Harford, Tim, The Undercover Economist, Oxford University Press, 2006.

There will be two exams, the midterm and the final. I'd like to have more, but there isn't enough time! I wish I could schedule exams outside of the usual class times, in order to provide more time to cover material and review it thoroughly.

Economics in the Movies:
We'll be watching three movies with interesting economic content:
Trading Places (futures markets, the importance of private property)
The Third Man (price controls, black markets, and crime)
A Christmas Carol (saving, greed, entrepreneurship, and exploitation)

Economic Experiments:
Supply and Demand Game (in which students are buyers or sellers and trade, creating a market price)
Production Game (in which students manufacture tasty treats to demonstrate the law of diminishing returns)
Cooperate/Defect Game (in which students demonstrate why it is difficult for firms to collude)
Lobbying Game (in which students bid for a $20 bill, resulting in dissipation, i.e., rent-seeking)