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6 Posts authored by: Shani Fisher Employee

Start your class off with a timely topic with the #iclickerqoftheweek. Ask your students to read Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology from our friends at Econofact before class (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology via @econofactorg). Kick-off your classroom discussion with these questions from our faculty advisor,Solina Lindahl, who teaches Principles of Economics at Cal Poly, SLO, shares questions related to the State of the Union address.  Let us know how you use these with your students! 

 

*The correct answer is noted in bold.

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Types of Firms, Industrial Organization 

 

  1. What type of market best describes the suppliers of voting equipment? “Dominion Voting Systems, ES&S and Hart InterCivic acquired several of their smaller competitors in the first decade of the 2000s. Together, these three companies provide voting equipment to roughly 92 percent of the voting population in the United States, according to a 2017 report from the Penn Wharton School Public Policy Initiative” (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology)

    1. Perfect Competition

    2. Monopolistic Competition

    3. Oligopoly

    4. Monopoly

 

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Markets

  1. In the “market” for voting technology, who are the demanders and who are the suppliers?

    1. The demanders are the voters, the suppliers are the local governments

    2. The demanders are the local governments, the suppliers are mostly private companies

    3. The demanders are mostly private companies, the suppliers are the local governments

    4. The demanders are the local governments, the suppliers are the voters

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Firms and Profit-Maximization

  1. What type of problem is likely to be created in markets such as those described below?  “Unlike other countries that have a centralized election authority, each individual state in the United States is responsible for setting their own election standards and procedures. In practice, the majority of election management functions are delegated to county and town governments in many states, which means that the potential customers for election technology number in the thousands with varying levels of resources and technical expertise.“(https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology

    1. The suppliers will have trouble meeting the exacting requirements of powerful, unified demanders

    2. The suppliers will face low profits since their products “homogeneous” (they are interchangeable with competitors)

    3. The market is so fragmented that suppliers will have trouble developing a consistent, safe and high-quality product

    4. The market is fragmented that buyers will face too many choices of products that fit their specifications, making a decision difficult

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Firms and Profit-Maximization

  1. If you were the CEO of a voting equipment firm who faces a market described by the following, what would be your most likely strategy?

“States and counties often lock themselves into ten- or fifteen-year contracts for voting machines because of how expensive this equipment is and its lack of interoperability with other systems, which requires them to completely replace their equipment if they want to switch to a different vendor.” and “vendors report that acquiring EAC certification, which some states require, can take two years or more and can run above $1 million per voting system” (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology), 

    1. To concentrate on investing in product improvement and safety 

    2. To stick with existing technologies and avoid changes that would require re-certification 

    3. To spend money lobbying and marketing in an effort to gain contracts

    4. To engage in litigation over unsuccessful bids

    5. B, C and D are correct

Engage your students before you launch into your lecture with the #iclickerqoftheweek!  Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, authors of Modern Principles of Economics, share their favorite question about the market for roses to help you talk about price on #valentinesday.  Have your students watch how the #invisiblehand delivers roses in this short video, and then answer these questions.  (Click here for the video: I, Rose - YouTube )

 

Start your students off with a target question (learn how to use target questions here: iClicker Support) with a world map (search via Google Images for a world map with the countries labeled) and ask your students to Click on the country that the majority of the world's roses are coming from, according to the Chapter Opener in CH 7 The Price System: Signals, Speculation and Prediction (Page 119 in Micro and Econ).  Answer: Kenya. 

 

Why did flower production move out of the United States in the 1970s?
a) Flower blight in the United States.
b) Disco
c) An increase in the price of oil raised heating costs relative to transportation costs.
d) A change in preferences increased the demand for flowers grown elsewhere.
Correct answer: c
Suppose that imports of flowers were taxed (a tariff) what would happen to the US production and consumption of flowers?
a) US production would increase, US consumption would decrease
b) US production would decrease, US consumption would increase
c) US production would decrease, US consumption would decrease
d) US production would increase, US consumption would increase
Correct answer: a
Suppose that imports of flowers were taxed (a tariff) what would happen to chocolate consumption around Valentine's Day?
a) No expected change
b) Chocolate consumption would increase
c) Chocolate consumption would decrease
Correct answer: b (chocolate is a substitute for flowers)

 

 

Additional questions for discussion

  1. Why are so many countries involved with getting roses into the United States for Valentine's Day?
  2. If the price of airline fuel goes up, trace out the mechanism by which the number of roses given on Valentine's Day is likely to decline. 
  3. If you are trying to predict which countries might supply roses for Valentine's Day, which factors might be likely to play a role?

 

 

 

 

Engage your students before you launch into your lecture with the #iclickerqoftheweek.  Our faculty advisor, Solina Lindahl (@SolinaLindahl), who teaches Principles of Economics at Cal Poly, SLO, shares questions related to the State of the Union address.  Let us know how you use these with your students! 

*The correct answer is noted in bold.

Topic: State of the Union Address

Economic Concept: Unemployment

 

 

  1. As the President reminded us in the State of the Union Address, U.S. unemployment is at record lows. Which type of unemployment is lowest (nonexistent)?

    1. Structural unemployment

    2. Frictional unemployment 

    3. Cyclical unemployment

    4. Seasonal unemployment

Topic: State of the Union Address

Economic Concept: Fiscal Policy and Deficit

  1. In the State of the Union address, the President mentioned NASA’s Artemis Project, aimed at getting “the next man and the first woman” U.S. astronauts on the moon by 2024.  The effect of increased government spending on projects like this alongside tax cuts like the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will have which of the following effects (other things equal) in the U.S. in the near future?

    1. To expand the economy and shrink the deficit

    2. To expand the economy and the deficit

    3. To slow the economy and shrink the deficit

    4. To slow the economy and expand the deficit

Topic: State of the Union Address

Economic Concept: Trade 

  1. In the State of the Union address, the President spoke about the trade war with China and his ongoing efforts to combat its “massive of theft of America’s jobs” and argued that the strategy has worked.  If the trade barriers are targeted toward saving U.S. manufacturing jobs, what are the likely effects according to economists?
    1. Manufactured goods prices in the U.S. will fall but will rise in China
    2. Manufactured goods prices in the U.S. will rise but U.S. manufacturing workers will lose their jobs
    3. U.S. consumers face lower prices but U.S. manufacturing workers will lose their jobs
    4. U.S. consumers face higher prices but U.S. manufacturing workers are helped

For all of you who #teachecon, our authors share an #iclickerqoftheweek with timely topics for Econ101. Eric Chiang, (@ProfessorChiang) author of Economics: Principles for A Changing World, Fifth Edition, starts us off with three questions on the #coronavirus 

*The correct answer is noted with an asterisk. 

 

Topic Coronavirus Epidemic

Economic Concept: Production Possibilities Frontier (Chapter 2 in Economics: Principles for A Changing World)

Question: To contain the spread of the coronavirus from its epicenter in Wuhan, authorities have temporarily closed all public transportation including airports, train and bus stations. This has caused some factories to halt production as workers stay home. How does this affect Wuhan’s PPF?

a) Wuhan’s production would temporarily move to a point farther to the right of its PPF

*b) Wuhan’s production would temporarily move to a point farther inside of its PP

c) Wuhan’s PPF would shift to the right

d) Wuhan’s production would stay on its PPF but at a different point

 

Topic: Coronavirus Epidemic

Economic Concept: Supply and Demand (Chapter 3 Economics: Principles for A Changing World)

Question: To accommodate the increase in demand for health care services in Wuhan due to the coronavirus epidemic, the government is building a temporary hospital with 1,000 beds. If the increase in supply is smaller than the increase in demand, what happens to the market price for health care, all else equal?


*a) market price and quantity both increase

b) market price and quantity both decrease

c) market price increases but market price decreases

d) market price decreases but market price increases

 

Topic: Coronavirus Epidemic

Economic Concept: Supply and Demand (Chapter 3 Economics: Principles for A Changing World)

Question: To contain the spread of the coronavirus from its epicenter in Wuhan, authorities have temporarily closed all public transportation including airports, train and bus stations during the Lunar New Year holiday. What is the likely impact of this policy on auto travel, all else equal?

 

a) A decrease in demand in auto travel, a complement to public transportation

b) A decrease in demand in auto travel, a substitute to public transportation

c) An increase in demand in auto travel, a complement to public transportation

*d) An increase in demand in auto travel, a substitute to public transportation

This afternoon, Jeffrey Young of The Chronicle of Higher Education, interviewed Christine Ortiz, dean of education at MIT, as a follow up to the article he wrote last month on a new nonprofit university she is leaving MIT to start, that provides students with a well-structured global education experience in a non-traditional format.  She shared some of her interdisciplinary vision via a slide that highlighted personalized learning in the knowledge domain, core science and engineering, and humanities, arts and social sciences (visualization credited to Jason Chuang).  Ortiz emphasized students being engaged, passionate, and that they would have flexibility in their day.  She sees the new classroom as focused on project-based learning and investigation to advance students to higher levels of learning, led by mentors (more one-on-one interactions versus standard lectures). The curriculum will not only be STEM but will incorporate the humanities, and it will have accreditation in place to insure quality. 

ortiz.jpg

How do you create global educational experiences in your classroom? What project based learning assignments have you done successfully? If you’re looking to incorporate more active learning in your economics classroom, Worth Economics supports your efforts with EconED Active, a site dedicated to open resources for active learning in your classroom.  And follow our author Eric Chiang and Marketing Manager Thomas Digiano  as they travel around the world to gather ideas for taking your Principles of Economics course global. Watch for how this Around the World feature gets incorporated in Chiang's upcoming book, Economics: Principles for a Changing World 4e.

temple grandin sxswedu2016.JPG

In a plenary session on the first full day of events at SXSWedu, Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, focused participants on meeting the needs of every learner we touch.  The crowd cheered when she encouraged us to understand that people think differently and we need to bridge the gap between the field and academics.  “A lot of my work has been observation. Observation is a part of science.”  She went on to say, “When I learned how my visual thinking was different from verbal thinking, it gave me insight into how different people’s brains approach problem solving. If I don’t have a picture, I don’t have a thought.”  Drawing from her observations in the field, she cited her exposure to different experiences that created opportunities that some labeled students aren’t getting to. "How did I find my passion? I was exposed to it."  She showed real concern for obstacles education creates for students, like a student who was denied taking a biology class that she really wanted to take because she wasn’t able to first pass her algebra class. 

 

The talk really left me thinking—what are we trying to accomplish in the economics classroom?  Are we preparing materials for different kinds of thinkers as we create our lessons?  Are there enough visuals to encourage the visual learners and enough content to support the language-based thinkers?  And, are we exposing students to enough economics to get them interested in the field?