2010-2011 Grant Recipients
"A Classroom Experiment on Import Tariffs and Quotas Under Perfect and Imperfect Competition" (Southern Economic Assocation Meeting)
Pedagogy Travel Grant
I am seeking support for expenses related to my presentation and participation in the Southern Economic Association Meetings, which will be held in Atlanta, GA on November 19-21, 2010. The accepted presentation describes a class room experiment that can be used in intermediate macroeconomics, international trade, and international finance courses to help students think more clearly about the effects of tariffs and quotas under various types of market structures. This experiment focuses on how, under imperfect competition in the domestic market, an import quota results in higher prices and lower quantity than an import tariff.
Undergraduate students who have recently completed a principles of economics sequence often have a cursory knowledge of the law of one price: how the movement from closed to open trade lowers the price in one country while raising the price in the other. What students often struggle with is the mechanism by which tariffs and quotas alter the behavior of both consumers and producers. Furthermore, many students fail to grasp the role market structure plays in defining the incentives faced by consumers and producers. By playing the role of consumers and producers and experiencing the mechanism firsthand, students will gain and, most importantly, retain a more thorough understanding of tariffs and quotas under different market structures.
Participation in this session on teaching innovations will provide both an excellent opportunity for feedback on my research and greater exposure to other, new innovations in economic education. Moreover, participating in other sessions on student learning and retention throughout the conference will enhance my knowledge of effective instruction methods. The ultimate goal is to publish the manuscript as a refereed journal article that can be used by other economics instructors to enhance student understanding and retention of the relationship between market structure and international trade. In addition, publication of this manuscript will serve to fulfill the third and final phase of my participation in the Teaching Innovation Program (TIP) sponsored by the Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association and funded by the National Science Foundation.
Phase one consisted of a three day seminar introducing instructors to interactive learning strategies for undergraduate instruction. During the seminar, participants experienced various teaching innovations, such as context rich problems, cooperative learning, and classroom experiments, from the student's point of view and then developed plans for implementing these strategies in their classes. In phase two, I first completed two on-line modules on active teaching. Then, with the mentoring advice from faculty experts in the teaching of economics, I prepared and implemented innovative learning exercises in my classes.
Community Outreach Plans
This experiment is just one of many I plan to use in my research study of teaching methods on student understanding and retention. This fall, I will be leading three principles of microeconomics sections and thus will be able to directly test whether classroom experiments do, in fact, lead to a more thorough understanding and a greater retention of microeconomic principles. I intend to share the preliminary results in my application for the 2011-2012 Teaching and Learning Strategies Seminar. In addition, I will (with the approval and assistance of the Center for Teaching and Learning) design and lead a seminar for Stonehill faculty on using experiments in the classroom. Furthermore, this experiment is part my long run goal to develop an honors economics course on designing and administrating classroom experiments.
Given the monetary cap of the Pedagogy Travel Grant, I have listed only the major budget items associated with my presentation at the Southern Economic Association Meetings.
Conference Registration (early discounted rate): $170
Round trip airfare to Atlanta: $345
Lodging in Atlanta (two nights at $139 per night plus tax): $320