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The Super Simple Solow Model, Part 2: Ideas Lecture Plan

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Lecture Objective: Students are able to identify incentives and factors that increase the production of ideas, and list the costs and benefits of using patents, prizes, and subsidies to increase idea creation.


The lesson incorporates a number of MRU’s videos about the economics of ideas from our Principles of Macroeconomics video course, as well as a TED-talk on the topic. We also mix in discussion prompts, exercises, practice questions, graphs and charts, and pre- and post-class assignments. Finally, we provide supplementary resources such as additional data sources, relevant articles and blog posts, a few episodes of Planet Money, and even an interview with Robert Solow himself.

The lecture can be paired with any intro textbook, but is based on a chapter from Modern Principles of Economics by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok.

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