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Economics 101: An Improved Approach


  • Thomas Hegland

    () (St. Olaf College)

  • Andrew Lithio

    () (Iowa State University)

  • Spencer Maynes

    () (University of Nebraska)

  • Anthony D. Becker

    () (Department of Economics, St. Olaf College)


Modern principles of economics textbooks do an admirable job of teaching students to think like economists, but have unfortunately lagged behind the modern discipline in their inclusion of statistical, data-driven analysis. Many traditional presentations of ideas in principles textbooks would benefit from being revised to include more empirical evidence for their theories, so as to more accurately reflect both the nuances of the theories themselves and the methods used by economists to test those ideas. In particular, textbooks’ treatment of the Phillips Curve, Okun’s Law, Lucas Critique, assumptions of rationality, and both the velocity of money and money creation could benefit from a more data-based approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Hegland & Andrew Lithio & Spencer Maynes & Anthony D. Becker, 2012. "Economics 101: An Improved Approach," Working Papers 201202, St. Olaf College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:olf:wpaper:201202

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    More about this item


    introductory economics; principles of economics; Phillips curve; Okun’s Law; rational expectations; Lucas critique;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General


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