Betty Blecha

San Francisco State University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (14)

Tax Game part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
The link between taxes rates and income distribution, or tax incidence, is an important concept in economics principles courses. The Tax Game simulation requires a student to set tax rates for a mythical economy, including the: income tax, property tax,wealth tax, payroll tax, corporate income tax,sales tax,and excise taxes. The student can choose any rates he or she wishes, but must achieve a given revenue target. After the rates are selected, the simulation calculates the Gini coefficient for the student's tax system and the student can readjust taxes to achieve a more desirable outcome. The simulation is most appropriate for economics principles courses. The Tax Game was developed by Mark Maier at Glendale Community College (CA).

Economics and the Tragedy of the Commons part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
In both macroeconomics and microeconomics principles courses, economists teach the virtue of markets as an allocative mechanism. But markets sometimes fail. This example allows students to simulate the market failure associated with a common property resource, a salmon fishery, and evaluate ways to control fishing. The simulation also shows the distributional results of different allocative mechanisms. The simulation was developed by Paul Romer at Stanford University and is available on the Aplia web site.

Ricardian Explorer part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
Ricardian Explorer, implemented on the internet, simulates a Ricardian trade model with linear production technology and a CES utility function. The typical simulation has two countries and two goods. While Ricardian explorer was developed to supplement a course in international trade, it can also be used in intermediate microeconomics and microeconomic principles courses. The authors of the simulation are Alberto Isgut and Tanya Rosenblat of Wesleyan University.

MarketSim part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
MarketSim helps students understand the functioning of markets by having them become consumers and producers in a simulated economy. There are two versions, both implemented over the internet. Jeremy's market is a consumer barter market. Adam's market introduces firms and money. MarketSim received funding from the National Science Foundation. The simulation is most appropriate for economics principles courses. The principle developers are Tod S. Porter and Kriss Schueller at Youngstown State University.

Sports Franchise Simulation part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
A Sports Franchise Simulation, modeled after the card game War, lets students run their own sports franchise. While the goal of the simulation is to teach students several microeconomics concepts taught in a sports economics course, the simulation can also be used as an application example in an intermediate microeconomics course. This is not a computer simulation. The simulation is implemented with decks of cards. The simulation was developed by David G. Surdam at the University of Northern Iowa.


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General Equilibrium Simulation for Microeconomics part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
Teaching general equilibrium analysis to students is challenging. General equilibrium models are typically accessible to only a small handful of mathematically well prepared students. Yet the growing significance of general equilibrium models in economics challenges instructors to find ways to make these models accessible to undergraduate students. The simulation gives microeconomics instructors an alternative to the traditional Edgeworth box graphical presentation. The simulation, with sample parameter files, is implemented with a Java applet available at General Equilibrium Simulations. The developers of the simulation are Walter Nicholson and Frank Westhoff at Amherst College.

Specialization and Division of Labor part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
This example engages students in a simple simulation of specialization and division of labor. All that is needed are staplers and some paper.

Fair Model part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
The Fair model web site includes a freely available United States macroeconomic econometric model and a multicounty econometric model. The models run on the Windows OS. Instructors can use the models to teach forecasting, run policy experiments, and evaluate historical episodes of macroeconomic behavior. The web site includes extensive documentation for both models. The simulation is for upper-division economics courses in macroeconomics or econometrics. The principle developer is Ray Fair at Yale University.

Dynamic Integrated Climate Change Model (DICE) part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
The Dynamic Integrated Climate Change (DICE) model assumes a single world producer must chose levels for three simultaneously determined variables: current consumption, investment, and greenhouse gases reduction. The model is freely available in both a GAMS and Excel version. DICE allows both science and economics instructors to integrate a sophisticated economic model of climate change into their courses. The simulation is for upper-division courses where students have some background in microeconomics. The principle developer is William Nordhaus at Yale University.

Budget Explorer part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
Students often come to a principles course in economics with knowledge that is not correct. This example asks students to guess the percent of federal expenditures for different spending categories. They are then shown the actual percentages. The student results can be the source of a class discussion on why many of their initial estimates were wrong (as they generally are). Students can also create their own budget by changing the amounts spent in each category. Budget Explorer, implemented over the internet, uses data from the Public Budget Database of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Open Outcry Market part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
This example is an in-class market simulation conducted with paper cards assigning each student a buyer or seller role and a reservation price. This example is appropriate for both upper and lower division courses. Open Outcry Market was developed by Barry P. Keating at the University of Notre Dame.

EconModel part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
This site contains 21 modular, easy to use economic models, that are appropriate for class assignments or in-class demonstrations. Students can simulate all the standard models taught in most economics courses. EconModel uses the Windows OS. The simulations were developed by William R. Parke of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Basic Monte Carlo Simulation for Beginning Econometrics part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
Summary: Beginning econometrics students often have an uneven preparation in statistics. Simulation can help with both an understanding of the analytically derived means and variances of regression estimators and the intuition of a sampling distribution. The instructional problem, however, is that many simulations are either black boxes to students or written in a programming language that is not easily understood by beginning students. The Stata simulate command opens up the use of very basic programs using Stata commands students use at the Stata command line.

Stata Monte Carlo Simulation for Heteroskedasticity part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Simulations:Examples
Beginning econometrics students often struggle with how heteroskedasticity biases an interval estimator. They also have difficulty with why the power of a statistical text is important. This compact Stata simulation written by Christopher F. Baum at Boston College demonstrates the effect of varying degrees of heteroskedasticity on the sample mean. The program is also easily modified to evaluate the power of a test for heteroskedasticity. The simulation includes the case of homoskedasticity for comparison purposes. Varying degrees of heteroskedasticity are user determined.

Other Contributions (2)

Teaching with Simulations part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Simulations
This module was initially developed by Betty Blecha and currently is coordinated by Beth Haynes . The module was refined and enhanced by Mark McBride, Teresa Riley, Katherine Rowell, KimMarie McGoldrick, Mark ...

Betty Blecha part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:About this Project:Project Participants
Department of Economics San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway Ave. San Francisco, CA 94132 bjblecha@sfsu.edu Phone: 415.405.2496 Fax: 415.338.1057 Background Information Betty Blecha is a Professor of ...


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