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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Interactive Lecture Demonstrations > Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations > Shape of the demand curve
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Shape of the demand curve

Described by Mark Maier Based on activity designed by Michael Salemi in 'Clickenomics: Using a classroom response system to increase student engagement in a large enrollment principles of economics course', The Journal of Economic Education, 40 (4), 385-404
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This material was originally created for Starting Point: Teaching Economics
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Summary

Prior to a classroom auction of an item, students predict the shape of the demand curve. Then, based on the auction's revealed reservation prices, students draw the resulting demand curve, compare its shape with their prediction and explain why it is similar or dissimilar.

(As an alternative introduction, students can suggest allocation mechanisms for the item and then after the auction reflect on advantages and disadvantages of market-based allocation.)

Learning Goals

The law of demand; reservation prices; shape of the demand curve

Context for Use

One-half hour activity early in an introductory economics course. Activity should be used before the instructor has shown the supply/demand model.

Teaching Materials

Prior to class the instructor will obtain one item for auction during the class session. Possible items include: school logo t-shirt; school logo mug (or any other item of likely use for most students in the course and not of such high value that the price will go above a few dollars).

Photocopy, upload for projection or post on the board the following:





Teaching Notes and Tips

Matrix for distribution alternatives (Microsoft Word 31kB Jul27 12)

Assessment

Present students with a set of auction bid reservation prices. Students should be able to draw the resulting demand curve, remembering to cumulate the quantities from highest to lowest bid.

References and Resources

On this auction see: Michael Salemi 'Clickenomics: Using a classroom response system to increase student engagement in a large enrollment principles of economics course', The Journal of Economic Education, 40 (4), 385-404

On the Vickrey auction see Wikipedia


Subject

Economics:Markets

Resource Type

Activities, :Classroom Activity:Short Activity:Demonstration

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

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