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Yours, Mine, and the Truth: Using a Structured Minimum Wage Debate in the Economics Classroom

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  • Scott A. Wolla

Abstract

This article describes a strategy for using the minimum wage as a classroom debate topic. Classroom debate is an active-learning strategy that encourages students to develop skills that are often lacking in the college curriculum. Specifically, classroom debate promotes critical thinking and encourages students to see topics from various perspectives. Economics topics are well suited for classroom debate because most of the policy arguments have at least two well-reasoned positions. The minimum wage is an economics topic that students tend to care deeply about because it speaks to issues of poverty, income inequality, discrimination, and the economic value of education, and many students in the college demographic earn minimum, or near-minimum, wage. Instructors who use the minimum wage debate in their classrooms will find that students will apply an “economic way of thinking†to issues at the core of the curriculum. JEL Classifications : A21, A22, J3

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Wolla, 2018. "Yours, Mine, and the Truth: Using a Structured Minimum Wage Debate in the Economics Classroom," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 63(2), pages 245-259, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:63:y:2018:i:2:p:245-259
    DOI: 10.1177/0569434517736241
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Becker, William E & Watts, Michael, 1996. "Chalk and Talk: A National Survey on Teaching Undergraduate Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 448-453, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    active learning; minimum wage; economic education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A21 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Pre-college
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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