! BackMobLabMcConnell, Brue, Flynn: Economics: Principles, Problems, & Policies Economics
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  • Introduction to Markets
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 1
    • MobLab Game: Private Value Sealed Bid Auction
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Learn how a basic exchange happens by participating in an auction.
      • Gains from trade (i.e., consumer surplus).
      • Price discovery: the transaction price results from the bids of other buyers
  • Supply and Demand in a Competitive Market
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 3
    • MobLab Game: Competitive Market
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • The “invisible hand” of the market: how individual profit maximization leads to competitive market equilibrium
      • Price discovery: the equilibrium market-clearing price results from the valuations of different buyers and costs of different sellers
      • Gains from trade (i.e., consumer and producer surplus).
      • Shifts in either supply or demand change equilibrium outcomes.
  • Public Goods
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 4
    • MobLab Game: Discrete (Threshold) Public Goods
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Highlights the features of public goods: non-rival and non-excludable.
      • Demonstrates the distinction between private and social benefits of public goods.
      • Shows how individual profit maximization leads to the free-rider problem.
  • Externalities
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 4
    • MobLab Game: Judge Me not
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • When firms do not internalize external costs, profit maximization leads to inefficiently high levels of pollution.
  • Government Interventions in Competitive Markets
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 5
    • MobLab Game: Competitive Market
    • Key Teaching Points:

Government interventions (per-unit taxes, subsidies, price ceilings and floors) alter equilibrium outcomes.

      • Equilibrium outcomes do not depend on whether buyers or sellers pay the tax.
      • The difference between tax incidence and who pays the tax.
      • Relative elasticity determine incidence of a tax or subsidy.
      • Excess supply (price floors) and excess demand (price ceilings).
      • The efficiency implications of government interventions.
  • Utility Maximization
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 7
    • MobLab Game: Consumer Choice: Cobb Douglas
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Become familiar with the Cobb Douglas utility function.
      • Monotonic transformations of a utility function do not affect the utility-maximizing consumption bundle.
      • Utility maximization can be achieved by sequentially choosing the item with the highest marginal utility per dollar.
  • Monopoly Pricing
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 12
    • MobLab Game: Cournot (with Group Size=1)
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Monopolies restrict output in order to increase price.
      • The tension between the quantity price effects of increased output
  • Game Theory
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 13
    • MobLab Game: Prisoner’s Dilemma
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Key features of games: payoff matrices, best responses and dominant strategies.
      • Identification of the Nash equilibrium.
      • The (sometimes) conflicting incentives of cooperation and self-interest.
      • Repeated play may lead to more cooperative outcomes.
  • Oligopoly
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 13
    • MobLab Game: Cournot
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • The underlying logic of the Cournot model: how market price is determined by aggregate output.
      • The equilibrium outcomes of Cournot competition.
      • Repeat interaction may lead to collusive behavior.
  • Labor Markets
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 15
    • MobLab Game: Simple Labor Market
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • When a perfectly competitive market determines wages, the equilibrium wage (per unit of labor) is equal to the value of the marginal product of labor of the last worker hired.
  • Inequality
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 21
    • MobLab Game: Dictator Game
    • Key Teaching Points:
  • Unemployment
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 27
    • MobLab Game: Simple Labor Market
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Employment levels are determined by both the supply and demand of labor.
      • Policies such as a minimum wage or unemployment insurance affect structural unemployment.
  • Money & Banking
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 32
    • MobLab Game: Bank Run
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • Highlights the underlying concept of fractional banking.
      • Demonstrates the trade-off between profit and risk, and shows how bank runs may arise.
      • Policy interventions, such as deposit insurance, can reduce the possibility of bank runs.
  • International Trade
    • Textbook Chapter: Chapter 38
    • MobLab Game: Comparative Advantage
    • Key Teaching Points:
      • The distinction between absolute and comparative advantage.
      • Experience first hand the gains from specialization and trade.
      • Differences in opportunity costs lead to mutually beneficial trade.