Workshop Description

“What Can We Do About Pollution?” Presentation at RMU Econ Teaching Conference

In this virtual conference session, we focus the effects of people’s choices on other people and the physical environment. This includes all forms of pollution, including carbon emissions. By analyzing the outcomes of various approaches to solving environmental problems, students will consider solutions to the question “what can society do if someone’s behavior is putting a burden on others?”

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Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Economic Education

Feb 23, 2024
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Grade Level: Post-high School
Potential Recertification Credits: 1

This virtual conference session demonstrates a new lesson from the Ethics, Economics, and Social Issues curriculum in which students study ways to reduce externalities. To do this, they play a word-guessing game in which they try to maximize the “production” of words, while keeping noise – an externality – to a minimum. In the game, teams of students try to guess a word that is acted out by one teammate by playing Charades – with one round where they can talk and the second where there is no talking, only gestures. Students can also try to guess the word using talking – in the style of the classic games Taboo™ or Catch Phrase™. The version of the game using talking is much easier, but it creates noise. With noise as a metaphor for pollution, the students do three different versions of the game that reflect classic strategies in environmental economics for reducing externalities, including cap and trade.

This session also investigates ways to teach about policy responses to externalities.

The sign-up for the Robert Morris University economics teaching conference is here.


Additional Information:

This is a session at the National Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education (CTREE). CTREE is part of the American Economic Association.

Instructor: Stephen Day
Contact Person:
Stephen Day
Center for Economic Education
Virginia Commonwealth University
(804) 828-1628

Register for “What Can We Do About Pollution?” Presentation at RMU Econ Teaching Conference

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