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Other Things Equal: Truth in Labeling, AS/AD Analysis, and Pedagogy


  • David Colander

    (Middlebury College)


If you reduce a multi-dimensional relationship to a two dimensional graph, you are going to cause some confusion. If you do so without being explicitly clear about the definitions and assumptions you are making in the reduction, you will likely cause significant confusion. The AS/AD labeling terminology misleads both students and economists and has been used inconsistently within some textbooks. New names are suggested--aggregate equilibrium demand (for aggregate demand) and aggregate supply path (for aggregate supply) to alert students to the difference between the aggregate curves and their micro counterparts and to the differences in the specifications underlying those curves.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 1997. "Other Things Equal: Truth in Labeling, AS/AD Analysis, and Pedagogy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 477-482, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:4:p:477-482

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Adit Laixuthai, 1993. "Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth," NBER Working Papers 4385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-186, January.
    3. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John DiNardo & Thomas Lemieux, 1992. "Alcohol, Marijuana, and American Youth: The Unintended Effects of Government Regulation," NBER Working Papers 4212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1988. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 145-171, April.
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1984:74:7:668-672_1 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    AS AD; Pedagogy; Supply;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate


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