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Interactive Tool: Making Sen$e with Paul Solman: Sounding an alarm on economic dysfunction by practicing sustainable living


Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 1)

When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportation. This three-part learning unit provides students with the story of Henry Ford and the Model T from an economics perspective. Parts 1 and 2 explore how the Ford Motor Company successfully introduced mass production strategies to the auto industry. Students learn how specialization and investments in capital (machines, people, etc.) increased productivity and allowed Ford to slash the price of his popular vehicle. Students chart a plan for the assembly-line production of bookmarks, test their plan, and make recommendations for improvements. Students also explore how Henry Ford used economic incentives to address a problem created by mass production techniques—worker turnover. An optional Part 3 explains how increased productivity resulted in shifts in the supply and demand for the Model T. Students analyze how a variety of non-price determinants continue to influence the automobile market today. The unit also presents a wealth of extension activities.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 01/05/2007

Why does Brett Favre make $8.5 million per year?

What determines a person's salary? Why do professional athletes make so much money? People who work as firefighters, police officers or teachers are clearly more important to our society, yet they make much less money than jocks. What explains this?

Grades: 9-12
Published: 06/06/2006

Closing the Gap

The students learn what GDP is. They will learn different measures of GDP as well as how GDP per capita can be used to compare countries. They will also calculate GDP per capita and learn how poorer countries can converge, or close the gap, with richer countries.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 10/27/2005

Related Publications

The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.


Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide

This publication contains complete instructions for teaching the lessons in Capstone. When combined with a textbook, Capstone provides activities for a complete high school economics course. 45 exemplary lessons help students learn to apply economic reasoning to a wide range of real-world subjects.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2003

7 out of 45 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2006

4 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

World History: Focus on Economics

With lessons combining economics and world history, students discover how people and nations developed as a result of making decisions based on maximizing local resources.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 1996

3 out of 12 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.