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The Influence of Teaching on Research in Economics


  • William E. Becker

    () (Indiana University)

  • Peter E. Kennedy

    () (Simon Fraser University)


An extensive literature in education shows little relationship between teaching and research. Authors advance the notion that research enhances teaching, but they typically ignore the prospect of teaching enhancing research. We report the results of a survey of active researchers in economics who were asked if they could cite a specific instance in which their research was substantively influenced by their teaching. About 50% reported such an experience, with a further 35% indicating, without prompting, that their teaching had a very positive effect on their research in general. Their comments identify a variety of channels through which teaching influences research.

Suggested Citation

  • William E. Becker & Peter E. Kennedy, 2006. "The Influence of Teaching on Research in Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 747-759, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:3:y:2006:p:747-759

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mercedes Prieto Alaiz & Maria-Pia Victoria-Feser, 1996. "Modelling Income Distribution in Spain: A Robust Parametric Approach," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 20, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. Christophe Muller, 2001. "The Properties of the Watts Poverty Index under Lognormality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(1), pages 1-9.
    3. Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Praag, Bernard M S, 1985. "A Synthesis of Poverty Line Definitions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 31(2), pages 139-154, June.
    4. Pradhan, Menno & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Measuring poverty using qualitative perceptions of welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2011, The World Bank.
    5. Madden, David, 2000. "Relative or Absolute Poverty Lines: A New Approach," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 181-199, June.
    6. Callan, Tim & Nolan, Brian, 1991. " Concepts of Poverty and the Poverty Line," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 243-261.
    7. Zheng, Buhong, 2001. "Statistical inference for poverty measures with relative poverty lines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 337-356, April.
    8. James E. Foster & Efe A. Ok, 1999. "Lorenz Dominance and the Variance of Logarithms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 901-908, July.
    9. Musgrave, R.A., 1985. "A brief history of fiscal doctrine," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-59 Elsevier.
    10. Foster, James E, 1998. "Absolute versus Relative Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 335-341, May.
    11. Ravallion, M., 1998. "Poverty Lines in Theory and Practice," Papers 133, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    12. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-169, July.
    13. McDonald, James B & Ransom, Michael R, 1979. "Functional Forms, Estimation Techniques and the Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1513-1525, November.
    14. van Praag, Bernard & Goedhart, Theo & Kapteyn, Arie, 1980. "The Poverty Line-A Pilot Survey in Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 461-465, August.
    15. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
    16. van Praag, Bernard M S & Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Eck, Wim, 1983. "The Influence of Classification and Observation Errors on the Measurement of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1093-1108, July.
    17. Ravallion, M. & Datt, G., 1991. "Growth and Redistribution Components of Changes in Poverty Measures," Papers 83, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    18. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. William E. Becker & Suzanne R. Becker, 2011. "Potpourri: Reflections from Husband/Wife Academic Editors," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 56(2), pages 74-84, November.
    2. Fouad El Ouardighi & Konstantin Kogan & Radu Vranceanu, 2013. "Publish or Teach ? : Analysis of the Professor's Optimal Career Plan," Working Papers hal-00823514, HAL.
    3. El Ouardighi, Fouad & Kogan, Konstantin & Vranceanu, Radu, 2013. "Publish or teach? Analysis of the professor's optimal career path," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1995-2009.
    4. repec:hal:journl:hal-00823514 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2442-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General


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