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Teaching Macro Principles after the Financial Crisis


  • Alan Blinder


Recent events should force everyone who teaches macroeconomics (or finance, for that matter) to reconsider their curriculums. In this short article, the author shares his thoughts about what should and should not be changed in the way economists teach macro principles to beginning students. Two tradeoffs are paramount and must be faced by every instructor: (1) how much additional complexity must be and can be introduced in a principles course in which the students are relatively unsophisticated; and (2) although it is easy to think of new topics that recent events “demand” instructors add, it is much harder to think of topics to delete . Yet economists should understand the necessity of choice forced by (time) budget constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Blinder, 2010. "Teaching Macro Principles after the Financial Crisis," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 385-390, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:385-390 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2010.510394

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Austin Nichols, 2007. "RD: Stata module for regression discontinuity estimation," Statistical Software Components S456888, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 30 Sep 2016.
    2. Ann L. Owen & Elizabeth J. Jensen, 2000. "Why Are Women Such Reluctant Economists? Evidence from Liberal Arts Colleges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 466-470, May.
    3. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    4. Karen E. Dynan & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1997. "The Underrepresentation of Women in Economics: A Study of Undergraduate Economics Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 350-368, December.
    5. Charles Ballard & Marianne Johnson, 2005. "Gender, Expectations, And Grades In Introductory Microeconomics At A Us University," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 95-122.
    6. Kevin N. Rask & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 2002. "Are Faculty Role Models? Evidence from Major Choice in an Undergraduate Institution," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 99-124, June.
    7. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
    8. John F. Chizmar, 2000. "A Discrete-Time Hazard Analysis of the Role of Gender in Persistence in the Economics Major," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 107-118, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gärtner, Manfred & Griesbach, Björn & Jung, Florian, 2011. "Teaching Macroeconomics after the Crisis: A Survey among Undergraduate Instructors in Europe and the U.S," Economics Working Paper Series 1120, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    2. Henrik Egbert & Nadeem Naqvi, 2011. "Market-dependent Production Set," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201145, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Kowalski, Tadeusz & Shachmurove, Yochanan, 2011. "The financial crisis: What is there to learn?," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 238-247.
    4. Carolin V. Schürg & Nadeem Naqvi, 2011. "Efficiency-wage Hypothesis and the Operational Production Pattern," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201146, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Martin Kniepert, 2014. "Die (Neue) Institutionenökonomik als Ansatz für einen erweiterten, offeneren Zugang zur Volkswirtschaftslehre," Working Papers 552014, Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
    6. Tadeusz Kowalski & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2011. "John Maynard Keynes: Is That you Knocking on the Door?," Working Papers 56, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics.
    7. Tadeusz Kowalski & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2011. "An Historical Walk Through Recent Financial Crises," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    8. Ben Beachy, 2012. "A Financial Crisis Manual Causes, Consequences, and Lessons of the Financial Crisis," GDAE Working Papers 12-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
    9. Tervala, Juha, 2014. "Teaching business cycles with the IS-TR model," MPRA Paper 58992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Manfred Gärtner & Björn Griesbach & Florian Jung, 2014. "Is there a transatlantic divide in undergraduate macroeconomics teaching?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 297-303, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


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