A Micro Textbook: A Tweet per Chapter

This past weekend I attended the St. Louis Fed’s Professors Conference with my good friend Ryan Baranowski. On our drive back to Cedar Rapids IA we were discussing how students read hundreds of tweets each day but barely crack open their textbook. We joked about how maybe the textbook needs to be only in tweets…… Read More »

Sunk Costs — Break Up with Him

Purchase the single on Amazon My good friend, colleague, and roommate Jadrian Wooten (twitter) will be teaching about sunk costs soon. He will be using an example that clicks very well with first-year students: breaking up with your significant other. He will be playing this song before class and, when I teach intro to micro… Read More »

The Coase Theorem in a Commercial?

(If you are well versed in externalities and the Coase theorem you can skip directly to the clip below.) A negative externality occurs when when one or more parties participate in an action that causes a bystander, who is not involved in the activity, to be worse off. The main example principles of economics instructors use is… Read More »

Project Runway — Specialization

My wife Kimberly and I were catching up on this season of Project Runway and the following clip showed up: It shows one of the first topics we talk about in a principles of economics course: specialization. Specialization shows how everyone involved in a trade can become better off if each individual specializes in what they are good… Read More »

Motivating the Good Students

In the spring semester I received the following comment on my mid-semester evaluation: It would be helpful to get positive encouragement once in awhile rather than starting every class with feeling like I did something wrong when I’ve been doing well on the assignments and exams. Everything else about the course helps me learn so… Read More »

Another Normal-Good Song

purchase the single A previous post talked about how I use a Barenaked Ladies song to teach about normal goods. Today I realized another song you can use to talk about how income affects consumption choices: Buy Me a Boat by Chris Janson. The song is simple: give me more money and I will buy… Read More »

Key & Peele: TeachingCenter

I’m a big fan of Key & Peele and am sad that it will be ending soon. One reason why I love the show so much is because I feel they say things that everyone is thinking in a way that is funny and entertaining. It may sound cliche but it’s true. The most recent clip… Read More »

Teaching Types of Goods with Barenaked Ladies

Between the second and third week of both my intro to microeconomics and intro to macroeconomics classes I go over what changes the demand curve for different goods and services. At this time normal goods vs inferior goods and complements vs substitutes comes up. Like many courses at the college level, topics in a principles of… Read More »

What Exactly is Elasticity?

I have posted a few times on elasticity lately so I wanted to do a full blog post explaining what economists mean when we talk about elasticity. This will not go into any math or graphs but simply just an overview on the most interesting topic in an introduction to microeconomics course. What exactly do you mean by… Read More »