Linda Ghent

Eastern Illinois University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (5)

"Father Christmas" by The Kinks part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning:Examples
This flash animation for the song "Father Christmas" by The Kinks demonstrates the deadweight loss associated with gift giving. The instructor can then extend the analysis by discussing how this relates to public policy (cash vs. inkind transfer payments). The animation can be coupled with Joel Waldfogel's article "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas" to emphasize the key concepts. To explore the alternative where gifts may be preferred to cash, the instructor can also show a clip from the series Seinfeld ("The Deal"). In the clip, Elaine is very unhappy when Jerry gives her cash for her birthday.

"Closer to Free" by The BoDeans part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning:Examples
This flash animation for the song "Closer to Free" provides the perfect backdrop for discussing the concept of economic freedom. The animation text describes the Economic Freedom of the World index, provides a summary of countries with high and low values of the index, and highlights the importance of economic freedom in a country's standard of living.

"Irreplacable" by Beyonce part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning:Examples
This flash animation for the song "Irreplaceable" demonstrates how the availability of substitutes affects the price elasticity of demand. Beyonce notes that her current boyfriend is not "irreplaceable," meaning that her demand for him is elastic. The study of elasticity is often dry and boring and very mechanical due to the the large number of calculations involved. Using the flash animation provides a nice alternative for visual learners.

Seinfeld: The Baby Shower part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning:Examples
This is a clip from Seinfeld in which Kramer tries to talk Jerry into installing illegal cable. Jerry is worried about the illegality of such a move and tells Kramer, "No." However, Jerry eventually gives in once he discovers that there will be 75 televised Mets games on TV. Now, his marginal benefit is greater than his marginal cost.

The Simpsons, "New Kid on the Block" part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning:Examples
This is an excellent clip from The Simpsons to demonstrate the concept of diminishing marginal utility and marginal analysis. Homer and Marge go to an "All-You-Can-Eat" seafood buffet. Marge chooses not to eat anything, while Homer goes a bit crazy and eats and eats. At the end of the clip, the owner of the restaurant tosses Homer out. After the clip, a discussion of Homer's behavior will allow students to first, discuss the law of diminishing marginal utility and second, understand why individuals have a tendency to overeat at buffets than at traditional restaurants with menu-pricing.

Other Contributions (2)

Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning
Developed by G. Dirk Mateer, Penn State University, with considerable help from Linda S. Ghent, Eastern Illinois University, Tod Porter, Youngstown State University and Ray Purdom, University of North Carolina at ...

Linda Ghent part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:About this Project:Project Participants
Professor and Chair Department of Economics Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL 61920 lsghent@eiu.edu Phone:217-581-5429 Background Information Linda S. Ghent is Professor and Chair in the Department of ...


Events and Communities

Developing Modules for Teaching Economics