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:

Textbook:
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.

Exams:
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)