Saturday, August 7, 2010

Economic Lessons from Monopoly

Regular reader and good friend Dr. Mark sent a link to this story from National Public Radio.

The short story explains how Monopoly can be a mechanism for discussing all kinds of economic concepts and theories. Featuring a game between fellow-blogger Russ Roberts of George Mason University and Dan Hammermesh of University of Texas at Austin, the story ranges from choice theory to the formation of derivatives.

I have a colleague and friend who uses Monopoly in his AP classroom, including a no rules version. What better way to discover the value of institutions in an economic system?

Please share your thoughts and ideas. (And thanks again, Dr. Mark.)


Nancy said...

I use Monopoly with 7th graders just to teach why a monopoly is and the benefits and consequences of possessing monopolies. I always have some who get it just from playing the game in the past, but others have never played. We a discussion of the game to introduce the lesson and at the end their incentive for good behavior is to get a whole block to play Monopoly in class. I think know I'll try to tie more into our game play.

Anonymous said...

The utilities have been under priced on the Monopoly board. The first lesson we learned as kids was to change the rules and double the fees on the utilities.

Anonymous said...

I use it in a variety of ways. After the AP test, we have a mini-Monopoly tournament for 4 days to play and review economic principles, review a bit of game theory and more from what we did all year in preparing for the test in May.
In the my methods classes at the University and in teacher training classes I use it to show many ways to illustrate economic principles in a fun way but also to remind them that students already "know' a good bit of economics and economic reasoning already from past use of the game.