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Calendar Item: Pacific Fur Opens For Business on June 23, 1810


Deregulation and the California Utilities

“The verdict is in: California’s experiment with energy deregulation is not just a mess; it’s a certifiable failure, according to everyone from the state governor to the very utilities that initially backed the scheme.” This is how Charles Feildman, CNN Correspondent, began his article on January 4, 2001, entitled “The California Power Quagmire”. Has this happened with any other industry? How and why did this happen in California and can it happen in other states? To understand what happened one must look at some simple and basic concepts in economics.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 09/25/2001

Is the Price of Gasoline Really Too High?

This lesson is designed to help students explore the issues associated with gasoline prices. The notion that a price is "too high" implies that consumers are being somehow unfairly treated or abused by overzealous corporations. In a market system, producers must compete for consumer dollars, with price determined by the interaction of supply and demand. Under competitive circumstances, we do not consider a price to be too high or somehow unfair; we accept the actions of buyers and sellers as the most efficient method for allocating resources. In other words, if some people want to pay $75 for a ticket to Bruce Springsteen concert, that is their choice. If, however, the market is less than competitive and firms are not competing in a legal way for consumer dollars, we have a situation were prices may actually be "too high." The questions to be addressed in this lesson involve the forces driving the price of gasoline and whether or not the market is competitive. If the market is competitive then the high prices we are experiencing are appropriate given the current levels of supply and demand. If, on the other hand, the market for gasoline is not competitive and firms are artificially manipulating prices, then the current high price may require government action.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 06/28/2000

Babysitter Shortage in Washington, D.C.

What is responsible for the shortage of babysitters in Washington, DC? Identify the parts of the article which indicate a decrease in supply and an increase in demand.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 09/22/1997

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

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

Mathematics & Economics: Connections for Life - 9-12

Created specifically for high school mathematics teachers, this publication shows how mathematics concepts and knowledge can be used to develop economic and personal financial understandings.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2001

7 out of 15 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

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