Rent Control and Black Market

Participation Rules
Students must post a minimum of 3 entries per week in at least 2 separate days. Notice, that it is not 3 entries per topic, it is 3 entries in total. Do not wait until the last minute to respond to the threaded discussion. Doing it will certainly not benefit the group learning experience.
Content Rules
All entries need to meet the criteria of being content driven, complete, considerate, and 1 idea/1 paragraph:

  1. Content Driven – this requirement means that the student actively thinks about the question or position stated and adds value to the discussion. Comments such as “I agree” or “That’s right” are not content driven and will not count as valid entries.
  2. Short but Complete – Limit your posts to 1-2 paragraphs. However, thoughts need to be fully developed to ensure that when other students and the instructor read the comments they are cogent and coherent. This also means that the entries need to be written in proper business communications format.
  3. Considerate – The comments are academic discussions not personal attacks. While you are certainly encouraged to express positions that disagree with other’s thinking, your thoughts must be presented as academic alternative positions with justification and examples to support your alternative position. I will indicate to the entire class what comments are personal attacks and these comments will not count as valid entries.
  4. 1 idea/1 paragraph – The entire paragraph should present ONE single idea. If you have other idea, that should go in a separate paragraph. Within a paragraph, the 1st sentence reflects the most important message. Following sentences support the idea mentioned in the 1st sentence. The last sentence concludes the idea.
  5. Clearly label the topic (Topic One, Topic Two or Topic Three) you are discussing.
    Grading Rules
    Threaded discussions start on Monday and end on Friday midnight of each week, and grading will be done on Monday of the next week. However, I will moderate the discussions on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week and give some feedback. In terms of grading, if you post 3 or more entries that meet the previous criteria (Content Driven, Complete and Considerate) you will get 100 points. If you post 2 valid entries, you will get 70 points, and if you post only 1 valid entry, you will get 40 points.

Topic One: Rent Control and Price Ceiling
Go to our Library, Streaming Video Catalog (, Films on Demand section and search for Teaching Tools for Microeconomics by John Stossel (the screen you will see is below).

Watch Segment 6. Price Controls: Unintended Consequences (5 minutes) and answer: Would you support rent control in your city? Why?

Topic Two: Black Markets
Tickets to athletic events, concerts and other venues are often resold at higher than original prices. In some states, scalping is outright illegal, while in other states, scalping is legal under certain circumstances.
You may have your own opinion about scalping, and it may be related to moral issues. I would like you to use some of the concepts you have learned in this course to analyze the issue and answer the following questions:

  1. Is the original ticket price necessarily an accurate measure of the equilibrium price?
  2. Who are the winners and losers in scalping?
    Topic Three: News and microeconomics
    This week we focused on price controls and the market for labor. Watch the following video:

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Provide two arguments in favor and two arguments against outsourcing labor.
To start this discussion, any student can post a link for a news about a current issue that relates to price controls or labor market. Add a comment to entice others to read your article and participate in the discussion.

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