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Preference Falsification in Teaching

  • Stephen Kinsella

Today’s macroeconomics courses are built around Solow and Romerstyle growth theories, and micro-founded equilibrium macro models of the ‘real business cycle’ variety. Hewing to a course description with such an intellectual structure is a derogation of my personal and professional views. This short, confessional note explores the activity of teaching what one does not believe, and argues this is preference falsification writ large. The act of teaching equilibrium business cycle theories to students who take these theories out into the world and act upon them there is, I believe, socially destructive. Yet many economists engage in this public activity contra their personal preferences. One solution is judicious use of the course description, in order that a broad church be maintained.

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Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 6 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 352-358

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:6:y:2009:i:3:p:352-358
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  1. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries," CEMA Working Papers 505, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Economic Growth with Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 15870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timur Kuran, 1987. "Chameleon voters and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 53-78, January.
  5. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Xavier Sala-i-Martín & Elsa V. Artadi, 2003. "Economic growth and investment in the Arab world," Economics Working Papers 683, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, March.
  8. Marcus Scheiblecker & et al., 2003. "Austria's Economy in 2002: Another Year of Slow Growth," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 76(4), pages 257-323, April.
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