IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jeduce/v41y2010i4p403-409.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Should the Financial Crisis Change How We Teach Economics?

Author

Listed:
  • Robert J. Shiller

Abstract

Student dissatisfaction with teaching of economics—particularly with macroeconomics—during the current financial crisis mirrors dissatisfaction that was expressed during the last big crisis, the Great Depression. Then and now, a good number of students have felt that their lectures bear little relation to the economic crisis raging outside the halls of academe. The economics profession seems unusual, when compared with some other professions, in complaints that the teaching is irrelevant to practical lives. There appear to be few complaints among physics students that their education does not prepare them for practical pursuits, such as engineering. But economics, particularly macroeconomics, is different from physics not because of the mode of teaching but because the subject matter is harder to conceptualize. Models have to be frequently discarded and fundamentally new ones have to be brought to bear to make them relevant to changed circumstances. Student dissatisfaction with economics, however, is, despite some vocal complaints, not intense overall, and enrollments are growing. Students mostly recognize that their teachers are struggling with the conceptual difficulties that are inherent in the field. Teachers can encourage such recognition and best serve their students if they refer regularly and respectfully to the history of economic thought, conveying the reasons for the theoretical constructs of other times and the tentativeness of current theories.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Shiller, 2010. "How Should the Financial Crisis Change How We Teach Economics?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 403-409, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:403-409
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2010.510409
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220485.2010.510409
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John B. Taylor, 2009. "Getting Off Track - How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis," Books, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, number 3.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Koutsobinas, Theodore, 2011. "Animal spirits, liquidity-preference and Keynesian behavioural macroeconomics: An intertemporal framework," MPRA Paper 43027, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Alan Kirman, 2016. "Complexity and Economic Policy: A Paradigm Shift or a Change in Perspective? A Review Essay on David Colander and Roland Kupers's Complexity and the Art of Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 534-572, June.
    3. Mike Dempsey, 2014. "The Modigliani and Miller Propositions: The History of a Failed Foundation for Corporate Finance?," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 50(3), pages 279-295, September.
    4. Stefano Gurciullo, 2014. "Stess-testing the system: Financial shock contagion in the realm of uncertainty," Papers 1412.1679, arXiv.org.
    5. repec:bus:jphile:v:10:y:2016:i:1:n:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Tervala, Juha, 2014. "Teaching business cycles with the IS-TR model," MPRA Paper 58992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Georg Strasser & Marketa Halova Wolfe, 2014. "Learning to Argue with Intermediate Macro Theory: A Semester-Long Team Writing Project," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 191-210, September.
    8. Stavros A. DRAKOPOULOS, 2016. "Economic crisis, economic methodology and the scientific ideal of physics," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 10(1), pages 28-57, November.
    9. repec:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:s:p:5-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:403-409. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/VECE20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.