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  • Dear Colleague, Thank you for using the Premium PowerPoints for Mankiw’s Principles of Economics . I update these approximately once per year, to update the data, fix any typos, and incorporate the best suggestions from users like yourself. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or feedback, please email me at [email_address] . Check the textbook’s website to make sure you’re always using the most recent version. In this area (the “notes” section), I occasionally include notes that are visible only to you and will not display during your presentation in class. In slides with data tables or charts, the notes area provides the source information (often a URL or web address to the original data). In other slides, the notes area provides information that might be helpful when teaching this material, particularly for new instructors and grad assistant teachers. For chapter 1, most instructors try to cover this chapter in a single class session (especially those that are teaching the second of a two-semester sequence). If you are teaching a “principles of microeconomics” course, you might consider skipping Principles 8-10, which deal with macroeconomics. Near the end of the chapter are four slides titled “FYI: How to Read Your Textbook.” In the notes section of these slides, I describe an in-class activity that teaches effective reading skills to students.
  • You might want to elaborate a bit on some of the points made here. Some examples: “ How do people decide how much to work?” Time is scarce resource – there’s just not enough time to do everything we’d like to do. How do we decide how much of our time to spend working? There’s a tradeoff: the more time we spend working, the higher our income, and therefore the more stuff we can buy. But, the more time we spend working, the less time we have for leisure – hanging out with friends, going hiking, watching movies, etc. (You might want to ask your students how THEY decide how much time to spend working. Some will say it depends on how many classes they are taking, or the time requirements of the available jobs. But probably at least a few will say the wage – the higher the wage, the more worthwhile to work.) “ How do firms decide what kind of labor to hire?” Firms can hire unskilled or skilled workers. The skilled workers are more productive, but cost more than the unskilled workers. “ How do firms decide how much to produce?” Ask your students, and see if any of them say “it depends on the price of the product they sell.” (Probably some will say “it depends on whether there’s a lot of demand for the product”. To which you might respond “and if there’s a lot of demand for the product, what does that mean for the price that firms can get for the product?”)
  • Decision-making is at the heart of economics. The individual must decide how much to save for retirement, how much to spend on different goods and services, how many hours a week to work. The firm must decide how much to produce, what kind of labor to hire. Society as a whole must decide how much to spend on national defense (“guns”) versus how much to spend on consumer goods (“butter”).
  • HEADS UP. The 5 th edition uses “equality.” The fourth and earlier editions used “equity” here. You may want to elaborate verbally on the last bullet to insure that the point is clear. “ Redistribute income from wealthy to poor” is accomplished through the progressive tax system, as well as social programs like food stamps and unemployment insurance that try to provide a safety net for people at the low end of the income distribution. “ But this reduces the incentive to work” – the reward for working hard is a high income. Taxes reduce this reward, and therefore reduce the incentive to work hard.
  • Here’s a fun tangent if you have the class time and are so inclined: Ask your students about the saying “The best things in life are free.” Ask them to name some of these things that supposedly are free. Ask them what “free” means in this context. The idea here is to get them to see that even things without an explicit monetary cost are not truly “free” because they have an opportunity cost. For example, when you ask them to name the “best things” that are “free,” they will respond with answers like love, sitting at the top of a mountain you just climbed and enjoying an awesome view, or maybe witnessing the joy of a child who has just been given a new toy. In each case, there is no explicit monetary cost, but there’s an opportunity cost. For example, a day spent climbing a mountain represents a day of foregone wages. And the fact that the mountain offers the incredible view probably means that land has been set aside for a national park that might otherwise have been used to produce industrial chemicals, or for a subdivision of million-dollar homes. With love, it’s less obvious, but if prodded enough, your students will be able to think of non-monetary costs associated with love. For example, you might not want to see the latest Ashton Kutcher film, you might think he’s the world’s worst actor. But your boyfriend/girlfriend/teenage daughter or other loved one is DYING to see it, they are BEGGING you to take them. So you take them. That’s true love, don’t you think? And it’s certainly not free.
  • See the textbook for two classic examples: 1. The diamond-water paradox: water is essential for life but virtually free; diamonds are inessential but expensive. 2. The near-zero marginal cost of an airline taking an extra passenger when the flight isn’t full.
  • Most of these PowerPoint chapters have two or three Active Learning activities. They break up the lecture with a short in-class activity for immediate reinforcement, application, or assessment of the material in the preceding slides. A good idea is to give students time to formulate their answers before asking for volunteers to share their answers with the class. When the questions or exercises are more complex, consider having them work in pairs. Digression on class participation: In general, it’s not a good idea to try to solicit participation by saying “Now who can tell me the answer to….”. The invariable result is regular participation by very few students – the quick thinkers who have the confidence to answer spontaneously in front of the class – while most students remain silent. When students have a bit of time to think through their answers, they are more likely to be comfortable sharing their answers with you and the class. Even better: try a simple, time-tested activity called “THINK-PAIR-SHARE.” Pair students up. Pose a question or problem. Have students work on the problem individually for a couple minutes. Then, allow a couple minutes to work in pairs: each student tries to explain to the other why his or her answer is correct, and the other offers feedback. In many cases, they come up with better answers by working together. Finally, ask for volunteers. Students are much more likely to participate since they have had the opportunity to “test” their answers on a classmate. And those who do not participate will at least have had the chance to share their answer with, and get feedback from, one other student. Activities like these are useful to break up a lecture every 20 minutes or so. They help maintain students’ attention spans, and increase their comprehension of the material you cover. These activities are also useful for quick, informal assessment – often, they will alert you to problems (such as students not getting what you think they’re getting) which you can then correct before moving on to cover additional material. End of digression.
  • Most of these PowerPoint chapters have two or three Active Learning activities. They break up the lecture with a short in-class activity for immediate reinforcement, application, or assessment of the material in the preceding slides. A good idea is to give students time to formulate their answers before asking for volunteers to share their answers with the class. When the questions or exercises are more complex, consider having them work in pairs. Digression on class participation: In general, it’s not a good idea to try to solicit participation by saying “Now who can tell me the answer to….”. The invariable result is regular participation by very few students – the quick thinkers who have the confidence to answer spontaneously in front of the class – while most students remain silent. When students have a bit of time to think through their answers, they are more likely to be comfortable sharing their answers with you and the class. Even better: try a simple, time-tested activity called “THINK-PAIR-SHARE.” Pair students up. Pose a question or problem. Have students work on the problem individually for a couple minutes. Then, allow a couple minutes to work in pairs: each student tries to explain to the other why his or her answer is correct, and the other offers feedback. In many cases, they come up with better answers by working together. Finally, ask for volunteers. Students are much more likely to participate since they have had the opportunity to “test” their answers on a classmate. And those who do not participate will at least have had the chance to share their answer with, and get feedback from, one other student. Activities like these are useful to break up a lecture every 20 minutes or so. They help maintain students’ attention spans, and increase their comprehension of the material you cover. These activities are also useful for quick, informal assessment – often, they will alert you to problems (such as students not getting what you think they’re getting) which you can then correct before moving on to cover additional material. End of digression.
  • If you wish, you can omit this slide and just give this information to the class verbally.
  • A market economy is “decentralized,” meaning that there is no government committee that makes the decisions about what goods to produce and so forth. Instead, many households and firms make their own decisions: * Each of many households decides who to work for and what goods to buy. * Each of many firms decides whom to hire and what goods to produce.
  • In all versions of this textbook except Brief Principles of Macroeconomics , market efficiency and the invisible hand are covered more thoroughly in Chapter 7.
  • Each Premium PowerPoint chapter ends with a summary similar to the textbook’s chapter summaries. Many instructors do not cover these chapter summaries in class.
  • Princ ch01-presentation

    1. 1. Ten Principles of Economics 1 E conomics P R I N C I P L E S O F N. Gregory Mankiw
    2. 2. In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: <ul><li>What kinds of questions does economics address? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the principles of how people make decisions? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the principles of how people interact? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the principles of how the economy as a whole works? </li></ul>
    3. 3. What Economics Is All About <ul><li>Scarcity : the limited nature of society’s resources </li></ul><ul><li>Economics : the study of how society manages its scarce resources, e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how people decide what to buy, how much to work, save, and spend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how firms decide how much to produce, how many workers to hire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how society decides how to divide its resources between national defense, consumer goods, protecting the environment, and other needs </li></ul></ul>0
    4. 4. The principles of HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS 0
    5. 5. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>All decisions involve tradeoffs. Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Going to a party the night before your midterm leaves less time for studying. </li></ul><ul><li>Having more money to buy stuff requires working longer hours, which leaves less time for leisure. </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting the environment requires resources that could otherwise be used to produce consumer goods. </li></ul>Principle #1: People Face Tradeoffs 0
    6. 6. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Society faces an important tradeoff: efficiency vs. equality </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency : when society gets the most from its scarce resources </li></ul><ul><li>Equality : when prosperity is distributed uniformly among society’s members </li></ul><ul><li>Tradeoff: To achieve greater equality, could redistribute income from wealthy to poor. But this reduces incentive to work and produce, shrinks the size of the economic “pie.” </li></ul>Principle #1: People Face Tradeoffs 0
    7. 7. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Making decisions requires comparing the costs and benefits of alternative choices. </li></ul><ul><li>The opportunity cost of any item is whatever must be given up to obtain it. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the relevant cost for decision making. </li></ul>Principle #2: The Cost of Something Is What You Give Up to Get It
    8. 8. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Examples: The opportunity cost of… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… going to college for a year is not just the tuition, books, and fees, but also the foregone wages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… seeing a movie is not just the price of the ticket, but the value of the time you spend in the theater. </li></ul></ul>Principle #2: The Cost of Something Is What You Give Up to Get It
    9. 9. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Rational people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>systematically and purposefully do the best they can to achieve their objectives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>make decisions by evaluating costs and benefits of marginal changes – incremental adjustments to an existing plan. </li></ul></ul>Principle #3: Rational People Think at the Margin
    10. 10. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>When a student considers whether to go to college for an additional year, he compares the fees & foregone wages to the extra income he could earn with the extra year of education. </li></ul><ul><li>When a manager considers whether to increase output, she compares the cost of the needed labor and materials to the extra revenue. </li></ul>Principle #3: Rational People Think at the Margin
    11. 11. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS <ul><li>Incentive: something that induces a person to act, i.e. the prospect of a reward or punishment. </li></ul><ul><li>Rational people respond to incentives. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When gas prices rise, consumers buy more hybrid cars and fewer gas guzzling SUVs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When cigarette taxes increase, teen smoking falls. </li></ul></ul>Principle #4: People Respond to Incentives
    12. 12. <ul><li>You are selling your 1996 Mustang. </li></ul>A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 Applying the principles
    13. 14. <ul><li>You have already spent $1000 on repairs. </li></ul><ul><li>At the last minute, the transmission dies. You can pay $600 to have it repaired, or sell the car “as is.” </li></ul><ul><li>In each of the following scenarios, should you have the transmission repaired? Explain. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Blue book value is $6500 if transmission works, $5700 if it doesn’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. Blue book value is $6000 if transmission works, $5500 if it doesn’t </li></ul></ul>A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 Applying the principles You are selling your 1996 Mustang.
    14. 15. <ul><li>Cost of fixing transmission = $600 </li></ul><ul><li>A. Blue book value is $6500 if transmission works, $5700 if it doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit of fixing the transmission = $800 ($6500 – 5700). </li></ul><ul><li>It’s worthwhile to have the transmission fixed. </li></ul><ul><li>B. Blue book value is $6000 if transmission works, $5500 if it doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit of fixing the transmission is only $500. </li></ul><ul><li>Paying $600 to fix transmission is not worthwhile. </li></ul>A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 Answers
    15. 16. <ul><li>Observations: </li></ul><ul><li>The $1000 you previously spent on repairs is irrelevant. What matters is the cost and benefit of the marginal repair (the transmission). </li></ul><ul><li>The change in incentives from scenario A to scenario B caused your decision to change. </li></ul>A C T I V E L E A R N I N G 1 Answers
    16. 17. HOW PEOPLE INTERACT <ul><li>Market: a group of buyers and sellers (need not be in a single location) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Organize economic activity” means determining </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what goods to produce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to produce them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how much of each to produce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who gets them </li></ul></ul>Principle #6: Markets Are Usually A Good Way to Organize Economic Activity
    17. 18. HOW PEOPLE INTERACT <ul><li>A market economy allocates resources through the decentralized decisions of many households and firms as they interact in markets. </li></ul><ul><li>Famous insight by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of these households and firms acts as if “led by an invisible hand ” to promote general economic well-being. </li></ul></ul>Principle #6: Markets Are Usually A Good Way to Organize Economic Activity
    18. 19. CHAPTER SUMMARY <ul><li>The principles of decision making are: </li></ul><ul><li>People face tradeoffs. </li></ul><ul><li>The cost of any action is measured in terms of foregone opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Rational people make decisions by comparing marginal costs and marginal benefits. </li></ul>

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