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Quit lying and address the controversies: there are no dogmata, laws, rules or standards in the science of economics

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  • Becker, William E.

Abstract

As with other sciences, the author argues that there are no unquestionable ideas in economics, and attempts to impose "No Child Left Behind" K-12 type "technical standards" in universities will turn higher education in economics into remedial education. Students need to learn that the very nature of a science is to have unresolved topics and an on-going scrutiny of theories no matter how steeped they are in tradition. He provides examples to show how the dumbing down of economics to the dogmatic preaching of a few simple concepts, principles, and axioms of old misses the excitement of modern day economics and is a deceitful representation of the science of economics and a disservice to students seeking a higher education.

Suggested Citation

  • Becker, William E., 2007. "Quit lying and address the controversies: there are no dogmata, laws, rules or standards in the science of economics," MPRA Paper 39958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39958
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 1997. "Classroom Games: Voluntary Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 209-215, Fall.
    2. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    3. Michael Pickhardt, 2005. "Teaching Public Goods Theory With a Classroom Game," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 145-159, April.
    4. Lewis, Ben W, 1970. "A Retrospective Look at Undergraduate Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 370-375, May.
    5. Becker, William E., 2004. "Good-byE old, hello new in teaching economics," Australasian Journal of Economics Education (AJEE), University of Queensland, School of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 5-17, March.
    6. Becker, William E, Jr, 1979. "Professorial Behavior Given a Stochastic Reward Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 1010-1017, December.
    7. Becker, William E & Greene, William & Rosen, Sherwin, 1990. "Research on High School Economic Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 14-22, May.
    8. Peter Hans Matthews, 2001. "Positive Feedback and Path Dependence Using the Law of Large Numbers," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 124-136, January.
    9. William E. Becker, 2004. "Economics for a Higher Education," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 3(1), pages 52-62.
    10. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
    11. Charles A. Holt, 1996. "Classroom Games: Trading in a Pit Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 193-203, Winter.
    12. Simon P. Anderson & Maxim Engers, 2002. "A Beautiful Blonde: a Nash coordination game," Virginia Economics Online Papers 359, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Garnett & Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Contending Perspectives, Twenty Years On: What Have Our Students Learned?," Working Papers 201104, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    2. Robin Bartlett & Marianne Ferber & Carole Green, 2009. "The Committee on Economic Education: Its Effect on the Introductory Course and Women in Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 153-172, July.
    3. Carlos Asarta & Ken Rebeck, 2011. "Measurement Techniques of Student Performance and Literacy: College and High School," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Robin Bartlett & Marianne Ferber & Carole Green, 2009. "The Committee on Economic Education: Its Effect on the Introductory Course and Women in Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2-3), pages 153-172, January.
    5. Pearce, John A., 2017. "How employers can stanch the hemorrhaging of collegiate GPA credibility," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 35-43.
    6. Daniel F. Stone, 2015. "Clarifying (Opportunity) Costs," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 60(1), pages 20-25, May.
    7. Green, Tom L., 2013. "Teaching (un)sustainability? University sustainability commitments and student experiences of introductory economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 135-142.
    8. Thornton, Tim B, 2011. "The economics curriculum in Australian Universities 1980 to 2011," MPRA Paper 39321, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    teaching economics; economics education;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics

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