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Calendar Item: The Fox Channel Hits The Big Time on April 5, 1987


What's Happening in the New Economy?

Do your parents ever ask you to shovel the snow out of your driveway or mow the lawn? Have you ever thought that these jobs are a waste of your time? Perhaps you are right. If it takes you one hour to shovel snow from your driveway, you might reasonably wonder how long it might take if you had a snow-blower. If you spend two hours mowing your yard with a 21-inch cut walking lawn mower, how much more efficient could you be with a 48-inch cut garden tractor? Imagine what life must have been like 200 years ago. The most advanced mode of overland transportation was horse and buggy. Intercontinental travel was limited to wind-powered sailing vessels. Advanced communication meant receiving an outdated letter in the mail. Employment opportunities were limited to the agricultural sector. No indoor plumbing, no electricity, no television, no automobiles, no cellular phones, no overnight business meetings 1000 miles away, and the list goes on. Living standards in the United States have expanded at a very rapid rate over the past two centuries. Economists usually use the output of goods and services per person to measure a nation's standard of living. The level of per capita (per person) U.S. output in 1990 was nine times its size 120 years earlier. In the 1990s alone, the level of output per person in the United States has expanded by several thousand dollars. Inflation adjusted per capita output is now over $28,000. What accounts for this impressive rise in our living standards? Many observers suggest that the explanation of increased prosperity can be found in the productivity improvements of the New Economy.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 03/04/2000

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

Henry Ford and the Model T: A Case Study in Productivity (Part 2)

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 provides a wealth of extension activities. 

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

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.


Advanced Placement Economics: Teacher Resource Manual

The teacher guide accompanies the student activities books in macro- and microeconomics for teaching college-level economics in AP Economics courses. The publication contains course outlines, unit plans, teaching instructions, and answers to the student activities and sample tests.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2003

58 out of 58 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

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

45 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

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