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Preference Falsification in Teaching

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  • Stephen Kinsella

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Kinsella, 2009. "Preference Falsification in Teaching," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(3), pages 352-358, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:6:y:2009:i:3:p:352-358
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2012. "Economic Growth with Bubbles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 3033-3058, October.
    3. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, May.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 231-274, November.
    5. 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.
    6. Timur Kuran, 1987. "Chameleon voters and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 53-78, January.
    7. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preference falsification; pedagogy;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists

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