The Streamin’ Blues

June 13th, 2016

What’s not to like about streaming? The music you want, wherever and whenever you want. Sounds good! But does your favorite artist think so?

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Hot Topic: In a Pickle

May 25th, 2016

“You’re kidding me?!” That’s what the Alaska food bank director said when Feeding America sent her a semi full of 5 gallon buckets of pickles!
Learn how the economic way of thinking helped a charity sell its way out of a pickle.

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Hot Topic: Immigration 2016 !

April 20th, 2016

The tools of economic reasoning can bring some much-needed critical thinking to the heated political debate over immigration policy.

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Hot Topic: Ubernomics

March 14th, 2016

In 4 short years, Uber brought down the taxi kings of New York City. Students examine data from medallion sales and ride sharing services, and then identify the incentives and institutions that first closed the taxi market in 1937 and then flooded it with competition in 2011.

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Hot Topic: It’s All In the Bag!

February 16th, 2016

In the Bag! uses the economic way of thinking to investigate luxury markets, focusing on how firms like Hermès, Ferrari, and many elite universities use market power to restrict quantity supplied and keep prices high.

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UPDATE – Target: Big Game Hunting

January 5th, 2016

Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the African lion to the Endangered Species List. Should wildlife lovers celebrate or cry?
Review the economic reasoning tools you learned in “Target: Trophy Hunting” to decide whether this latest development truly honors Cecil.

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Hot Topic: Sun Burn?

November 28th, 2015

Just in time for the Paris Conference on Climate Change!

“Sun Burn?: Paying the Bill for Solar Energy” uses the economic way of thinking to examine and evaluate the rules of the game that shape development of solar energy in the United States.
In this lesson, students practice using ERPs #3&4, identifying the “rules of the game” and the incentives shaping the solar industry.

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Hot Topic: Gas Prices ?!?

March 11th, 2015

Moaning about the rising price of oil and gasoline has become part of our daily routine. We expect rising gas prices because . . . . Well, because, in our experience, that’s what gas prices do. But then, they didn’t! The price of gasoline began falling last summer . . . and it kept falling and kept falling – until the national average price in January was $2.05/gallon. #HowCanThatBe? Use the economic way of thinking and Economic Reasoning Propositions 3&4 to figure it out.

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Hot Topic: Chocapocalypse?!

February 6th, 2015

The potential for a “chocapocalypse” isn’t just advertising hype. Take a walk through the store and check out the price of chocolate. The boxes and bags – and even good old chocolate chips – are pretty pricey. (And, just sayin’, chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips . . . )

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Hot Topic: Running Scared – Children Crossing the Border

December 2nd, 2014

  Fall, 2014 (reposted Dec., 2015) Estimates of the number of unaccompanied children who tried to cross the border into the United States in 2014 range from 60,000 to 80,000. The flood slowed somewhat in 2015 but it still hasn’t stopped. Most of the children come from Central America:  El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, traveling […]

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Hot Topic: Captain Phillips: Pirate Economics

October 30th, 2013

Economics in the movies! Ripped from the big screen just in time for Halloween! Check out “Captain Phillips: Pirate Economics.” Our latest hot topic uses the economic way of thinking (ERPs #1&2) to explain how getting in a tiny fishing boat and traveling 200 miles across a sea patrolled by the U.S. Navy to attack a cargo ship might actually be a rational choice rather than just plain craziness.

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Hot Topic: Why Is There Corn In Your Coke? (April, 2013)

April 11th, 2013

LearnLiberty, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies (a non-profit dedicated to “learning about the ideas of a free society” ) has generously invited the FTE to use their videos in lessons on economic reasoning. The provocatively titled “Why Is There Corn in Your Coke?” explains how the institutional “rules of the game” can affect even such mundane choices as whether soft drinks are sweetened with sugar or corn syrup, and sets the stage for understanding the power of special interest groups in our current national debates over gun control and immigration policy.

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Economic Reasoning & Immigration (March 2013)

March 11th, 2013

Immigration reform is front and center in the news and emotions are high. It’s ‘hot.” It’s also the first in our new series of Hot Topics in partnership with Gooru Learning.

Check out our new Hot Topic blended learning format. FTE – Gooru Hot Topics provide students the background instruction, reading, and viewing that allow you to run engaging simulations, discussions, and group projects using economic reasoning in the clasroom.

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Institutions Matter: Experiments in Real Life

October 5th, 2009

We don’t usually think of conducting experiments in social science. What would the mad social scientist do – imprison two groups of people in plastic bubble-biomes and use one as the control group while administering different economic or social policies to the other? Not likely! But, every once in awhile, social science ‘experiments’ happen on their own, and when we are alert enough to recognize them, we can learn a great deal.

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