Hummus sandwich production line

Today’s Economics class started off with a very hands-on experiment: students created a Ritz cracker & hummus sandwich production line in order to test the law of diminishing marginal productivity. This law says that initial output will occur during production of a good (here the Ritz/hummus sandwich), but that even with added workers there will eventually be only a limited or no effect on output.

Dr. Robert Reinauer timed the students as they produced the mini-sandwiches, starting with only one worker and building up to four workers. While output at finished increased, we did indeed see diminishing returns as the whole class joined in. This was in part due to the constraint of having only one knife to get the work done– a forced constraint to show that all production sites are limited. Dr. Reinauer completed quality control of the sandwiches, critically eating those that did not pass muster.

This experiment was a fun way to see theories of labor and production in action– and to sneak in a little extra breakfast before returning to the classroom!