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Using a Simple Simulation Model to Help Students 'Think Like Economists' in Intermediate Macroeconomics

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  • Edward M. McNertney

    () (Texas Christian University)

  • Robert F. Garnett, Jr.

    () (Texas Christian University)

Abstract

A decade ago, a national conference of macroeconomic educators called for fundamental reform in the teaching of intermediate macroeconomics, urging instructors to employ a single analytic framework rather than 'responding to the fragmentation of macroeconomics by teaching a separate model for each school of thought' (Erekson, Raynold and Salemi, 1996; Salemi and Siegfried, 1999). This paper describes the theoretical structure and learning applications of a simple, single-framework macroeconomic simulation model developed at Texas Christian University. When carefully integrated with other course activities, this computer-based learning tool can increase the intellectual value of intermediate macroeconomics by helping to strengthen students' understanding of basic macroeconomic principles and the types of complex causality, interdependence and unintended consequences that arise in macroeconomic settings, i.e. students' ability to 'think like economists' about macroeconomic phenomena.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward M. McNertney & Robert F. Garnett, Jr., 2006. "Using a Simple Simulation Model to Help Students 'Think Like Economists' in Intermediate Macroeconomics," Computers in Higher Education Economics Review, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 18(1), pages 34-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:chepap:v:18:y:2006:i:1:p:34-39
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    File URL: http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/cheer/ch18/mcnertney.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. Lee Hansen & Michael K. Salemi & John J. Siegfried, 2002. "Use It or Lose It: Teaching Literacy in the Economics Principles Course," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 463-472, May.
    2. Michael P. Murray, 1999. "Econometrics Lectures in a Computer Classroom," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 308-321, January.
    3. O. Homer Erekson & Prosper Raynold & Michael K. Salemi, 1996. "Pedagogical Issues in Teaching Macroeconomics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 100-107, April.
    4. Solow,Robert M., 1998. "Monopolistic Competition and Macroeconomic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521626163, December.
    5. Peter E. Kennedy, 2001. "Bootstrapping Student Understanding of What is Going on in Econometrics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 110-123, January.
    6. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
    7. Frank Hahn & Robert Solow, 1997. "A Critical Essay on Modern Macroeconomic Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258154x, January.
    8. John J. Siegfried & Michael K. Salemi, 1999. "The State of Economic Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 355-361, May.
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