IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Teaching Economics Using Historical Novels: Jonathan Harr's The Lost Painting


  • Chad Cotti
  • Marianne Johnson


Undergraduate students are often interested in and benefit greatly from applications of economic principles. Historical novels drawn from real-world situations can engage students with economic concepts in new ways and provide a useful tool to help enhance instruction. In this article, the authors discuss the use of historical novels generally in microeconomics, and examine The Lost Painting , a historical novel by Jonathan Harr (2005), in detail. Topics illustrated in the novel include scarcity, opportunity cost, cost-benefit analysis, tax avoidance, labor market specialization, compensating wage differentials, competition and market structure, pricing, income, and government regulation. The authors include an in-depth description of how to incorporate a historical novel into a microeconomics class and provide some evaluation strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Cotti & Marianne Johnson, 2012. "Teaching Economics Using Historical Novels: Jonathan Harr's The Lost Painting," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 269-281, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:3:p:269-281
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2012.686391

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:43:y:2012:i:3:p:269-281. 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: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.