kf001 - KafuWong 1 2 Hi,IamMarty 3 Hi,IamMarty 4 .Youwe

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1 Ka-fu Wong University of Hong Kong Thinking Like An Economist
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2 “I’d like to introduce you to Marty Thorndecker.  He’s an economist but he’s really very nice.”
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3 Hi, I am Marty….
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4 Hi, I am Marty….
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5 Can we express yourself? Suppose you had the chance to meet the Chief  Executive in a cocktail party.  You were asked to  express your opinion on minimum wage legislation in  Hong Kong. How do you express your views and convince  him/her in five minutes?
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6 Can you express yourself? Most students who take introductory economics leave  the course without really having learned even the most  important basic economic principles.   Their ability to answer simple economic questions  several months after leaving the course is not  measurably different from that of people who never took  a principles course. * * Hansen, W. L., M. K. Salemi, and J. J. Siegfried (2002) “Use it or lose it:  teaching economic literacy,”  American Economic Review  (Papers and  Proceedings), 92 (May): 463-72.
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7 How do we learn a new language Start simple Repetition and drill Active learning “How much is this?”
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8 Should there be 12 separate sections of Econ  101, with 25 students each?
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9 Or should there be only one section, with 300  students?
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10 What is the Optimal Class Size? To maximize learning without consideration of cost? How would considering costs change our answer? A personal tutorial course in economics might cost  $40,000 A class of 300 students might cost $200/student Extreme case: a class of infinite students might cost  less than $0.1/student What trade-offs must university administrators and  students consider when choosing class size?
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11 The Scarcity Principle  (also called no-free-lunch principle) Boundless wants cannot be satisfied with limited  resources.  Therefore, having more of one thing usually means  having less of another. Because of scarcity we must make choices.
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12 Selling Seats Through An English Auction  In the classroom, the teacher owns the seats.  As usual, the  teacher can assign seats.  Here, we do it in the economics way --  the teacher will sell seats through an English auction.  In an  English auction, bidders cry out their bid for a good item until no  one is willing to submit a higher bid.  The highest bidder will get  the item.  This kind of auction has been used in Hong Kong’s  land auction.  There is no restriction on how many seats a  student can buy or resale activity. Non-bidders will be assign to  an “homeless area” after the auction results.   Bidders suggest a seat for auction.  A suggestion is also taken 
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2011 for the course ECON 1001 taught by Professor S.c during the Spring '10 term at HKU.

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kf001 - KafuWong 1 2 Hi,IamMarty 3 Hi,IamMarty 4 .Youwe

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