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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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 269-281

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:3:p:269-281
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