Todd Swarthout

Georgia State University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (2)

Homegrown Demand part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Classroom Experiments:Examples
This exercise introduces students to the concept of a demand curve, and helps them understand how demand curves are derived. During the exercise students think about and submit the price they are willing to pay for a specific item. These prices are used to generate a demand curve. In particular, to generate the prices, the instructor auctions off three M&M packets to the highest bidders via a sealed-bid auction. The instructor enters the bids into the EconPort graphing software (see below). The data generated by the class forms a demand curve which motivates the class's introduction to demand curves. Students often have trouble understanding that demand curves are visualizations of marginal benefits. Even when they have such an understanding, they often do not see the logic of ordering these values from highest to lowest for demand curves. This experiment helps students to grasp these concepts more readily. It also prepares students for studying (and participating in experiments about) competitive equilibrium theory and other market characteristics (e.g., taxes, price controls).

Public Goods Experiment part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Classroom Experiments:Examples
In this experiment, students must decide how to divide their "endowment" of a good between private consumption and a public good. The private consumption provides a benefit (earnings) to only the individual and the public good provides a benefit to each person in the group, even those who do not contribute to the public good. This hand-run experiment is suitable for use in small classes in the range of 5 to 40 students. Some variations on this basic experiment are also described.

Other Contribution

J. Todd Swarthout part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:About this Project:Project Participants
Research Assistant Professor Department of Economics Georgia State University P.O. Box 3992 Atlanta, GA 30302-3992 swarthout@gsu.edu Phone:404-413-0192 Background Information J. Todd Swarthout is a Research ...


Events and Communities

Developing Modules for Teaching Economics Participants