These two short activities set up tragedies of the commons â€“ one in water (lemonade) and the other in fish (M&Ms). The debriefing guides students through analysis of the different incentives embodied in common and private ownership and helps them understand how the rules of the game shape peopleâ€™s behavior â€“ and their use of valuable environmental amenities.
In this simulation activity, students play the roles of community members wrestling with the problem of cleaning up a polluted pond on their common property. They quickly discover that because of their different values and interests, the important question is not whether to clean up the pond, but how much clean-up they are willing to pay for.
Students will use a series of clues and their knowledge of incentives and voluntary exchange to solve the sweatshop mystery. Students will fully examine the issue â€“ an examination that must include the accounts from workers, themselves, who often welcome the opportunity sweatshops offer and fear that foreign agitation will cause factories to close or relocate.
This brief classroom activity can be used to informally assess students ability to apply the principles of economic reasoning to environmental issues.
This reading-based activity is a combination guided discussion and paper-and-pencil exercise examining the impact of trade barriers on various participant groups in the sugar market. U.S. sugar policy creates a tale of 2 markets and offers a clear illustration of who benefits from and who bears the costs of market restrictions. In the process of analyzing and comparing those markets, students rediscover three important economic constants: voluntary trade creates wealth; incentives always matter; and economic change creates winners and losers.
In this activity, students see that markets can help to reduce pollution if people value a cleaner environment, and if they have good information about the pollution that is present.
Students learn from analysis and research that capitalist institutions affirm human dignity, create incentives for cooperative interaction, and reward ethical behavior in markets.
This lesson focuses on suppliers and demanders, the participants in markets; how their behavior changes in response to incentives; and how their interaction generates the prices that allocate resources in the economy.
Students will learn why people hold differing beliefs about water and its importance to the Earth and it inhabitants.
Students will participate in a role-play that simulates a common environmental dilemma as community members try to decide where to locate a new school. They are faced with the costs and alternative uses that must be given up of any particular school location.
In this activity, students are given one of three types of currency and encouraged to participate in a market for a variety of inexpensive goods. Unfortunately, stores in the market are only open for a short time and each accepts only one type of currency. As they experience the frustration of trying to obtain the currency for the purchases they want to make, students explore ways to reduce these transaction costs. In round 2, the option of currency exchange at a bank is added to the activity, and in round 3, students have the option of trading in their money for a common currency.
Students will participate in the Ultimatum Game where they discuss whether capitalism can be "good" for the poor in an ethical and moral sense, as well as in terms of material well-being.
Students will role-play employers and workers in the t-shirt industry to demonstrate the impact of changes in worker productivity on labor markets.
Students play the role of families in a small town, trying to deal with the changes in income they experience as a result of the Great Depression.
Students will be able to identify and explain the economic principles of scarcity, choice, opportunity cost, and incentives and how they apply to the study of international trade.
Students will review trade restriction vocabulary before analyzing the impact of trade-inhibiting policies and moving on to the more important question of why the urge to erect barriers seems so resistant to the economic logic that restricting trade restricts the creation of wealth.
In this 2-part lesson, students identify diaster-related activities in which the benefits of government action outweigh the costs and use economic analysis to explain the obstacles to success in the diaster-relief activities where government frequently falters.
Lesson Three seeks to clarify their understanding by taking a close look at one of the oldest and most fundamental of American valuesâ€”private property rights. In examining the privileges and limitations of owning a house, as contrasted, for example, to owning a beautiful stream or a potentially danÂgerous weapon, students investigate how rules, customs, and laws define ownership. (See the link to the activities at the bottom of the page.)
Students will identify groups and individuals who may benefit and those who may be left out of the wealth-creation that accompanies increasing international trade.
Students investigate the institutional parameters of competition for water by studying the formal definitions of water rights in American history as the law evolved to accommodate changing wants and needs. Using real-world examples, they consider how different legal structures affect the ability of citizens to resolve disputes amicably, and they learn how government can play a role in promoting mutually beneficial resolutions of environmental disputes.
This article offers a compilation of findings about the impact of trade on the environment and focuses on the two main concerns of environmental activists: Does international trade increase pollution? Is international trade responsible for resource depletion?
Students will consider the costs and benefits to both the buyers and sellers of trash. In the debriefing, they will transfer their understanding of the trash exchange to the environmental issue of trade between developed and developing countries.
Students will examine what institutional arrangements can reduce conflict and allow us to best meet changing demands for water.
Students will focus on world poverty and learn to distinguish between relative and absolute poverty.
Students are introduced to the possibility for cooperative, win-win solutions to water disputes through water markets.
This role play activity simulates a common environmental dilemma as community members trying to decide where to locate a new school are faced with the costs of “the alternative uses that must be given up at of any particular school location.
This lesson is a quick way to make students aware of the very real presence of international trade in their daily lives. They will find that most of their clothing is made overseas. As they map where their clothes were produced, students begin to see some of the patterns of specialization that exist in the global marketplace and to realize the extent to which we are tied to this interdependent network of production and trade. The group discussion questions help them to identify the costs and benefits of purchasing and wearing clothing produced in other countries â€“ or of choosing not to purchase and wear clothing produced overseas.
Students will analyze descriptions from five different countries to determine which institutional components of capitalism are present and, if so, to what extent. Students place each on a continuum depending upon the number and strength of its capitalist institutions.