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Teaching consumer theory to business students: an integrative approach

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  • Axelsen, Dan
  • Snarr, Hal W.
  • Friesner, Dan

Abstract

Economists teaching principles of microeconomics courses in business schools face a difficult pedagogical dilemma. Because the vast majority of students in these courses are business majors or minors who will not study economics beyond the principles level, these students need a different set of skills than what is taught in a traditional (liberal arts) setting, which is focused primarily towards economics majors and/or minors. In particular, business students need relatively less emphasis on the mechanics of neoclassical economic theory and relatively more emphasis on how economic tools and concepts form the basis for (and are subsequently integrated into) other business fields, including (but not limited to) marketing, management and finance. This paper presents a case study illustrating how instructors can more effectively teach principles of microeconomics when the majority of students in the course are business majors and/or minors. We use consumer theory as an example. Our goal is to not only describe why principles of microeconomics courses fail to adequately introduce and explain utility and demand theory to this cohort of students, but also to demonstrate how course content can be altered such that learning outcomes are enhanced.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37249.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Perspectives on Economic Education Research 1.6(2010): pp. 15-47
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37249

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Keywords: Economics instruction; utility theory; demand;

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  1. Charles A. Holt, 1996. "Classroom Games: Trading in a Pit Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 193-203, Winter.
  2. Arthur Caplan, 2004. "Seeing is Believing: Simulating Resource-Extraction Problems with GAMS IDE and Microsoft Excel in an Intermediate-Level Natural-Resource Economics Course," Working Papers 2004-10, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
  3. J. Wilson Mixon, Jr. & Soumaya M. Tohamy, 1999. "The Heckscher-Ohlin Model with variable input coefficients in spreadsheets," Computers in Higher Education Economics Review, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 13(2), pages 4-6.
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