Engage your students before you launch into your lecture with the #iclickerqoftheweek! Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, authors of Modern Principles of Economics, share their favorite question about the market for roses to help you talk about price on #valentinesday. Have your students watch how the #invisiblehand delivers roses in this short video, and then answer these questions. (Click here for the video: I, Rose - YouTube )
Start your students off with a target question (learn how to use target questions here: iClicker Support) with a world map (search via Google Images for a world map with the countries labeled) and ask your students to Click on the country that the majority of the world's roses are coming from, according to the Chapter Opener in CH 7 The Price System: Signals, Speculation and Prediction (Page 119 in Micro and Econ). Answer: Kenya.
Why did flower production move out of the United States in the 1970s?
a) Flower blight in the United States.
c) An increase in the price of oil raised heating costs relative to transportation costs.
d) A change in preferences increased the demand for flowers grown elsewhere.
Correct answer: c
Suppose that imports of flowers were taxed (a tariff) what would happen to the US production and consumption of flowers?
a) US production would increase, US consumption would decrease
b) US production would decrease, US consumption would increase
c) US production would decrease, US consumption would decrease
d) US production would increase, US consumption would increase
Correct answer: a
Suppose that imports of flowers were taxed (a tariff) what would happen to chocolate consumption around Valentine's Day?
a) No expected change
b) Chocolate consumption would increase
c) Chocolate consumption would decrease
Correct answer: b (chocolate is a substitute for flowers)
Additional questions for discussion
Why are so many countries involved with getting roses into the United States for Valentine's Day?
If the price of airline fuel goes up, trace out the mechanism by which the number of roses given on Valentine's Day is likely to decline.
If you are trying to predict which countries might supply roses for Valentine's Day, which factors might be likely to play a role?