Title: What the fishing boats have in common: a classroom experiment

Authors: Caleb Lewis

Addresses: Puri School of Business, Rockford University, 5050 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, USA

Abstract: Pluralism in the economics classroom should be effectively supported by active learning exercises. This paper describes a classroom experiment that involves students in an incentivised common goods environment in a context familiar to students from diverse backgrounds: overfishing. This exercise can provide a learning moment that draws from the varied experiences and world-views of the participants and varied theoretical approaches including those outside mainstream economics. In each round of the game, students individually choose between fishing aggressively and conservatively. Fishing aggressively depletes a school of fish to such an extent that it will not replenish. Students are rewarded with points in proportion to their catch to simulate the returns to private fishing boats. The result is an effective and engaging learning opportunity particularly suitable to undergraduate economics courses. This exercise is an example of how pluralism can be incorporated in pedagogy.

Keywords: common goods; pluralism; pedagogy; economics education; active learning; classroom experiments.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2018.092229

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2018 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.192 - 203

Available online: 01 Jun 2018 *

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