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The Double Paradox of Elementary Economics Education

Elementary economics textbooks have become less attractive to students requiring only an introduction to economics, given that their content is pervaded by mathematical diagrams and simple equations. Also they are of relatively little value to those interested in, for example, attempting to gain an understanding of the New Economy, for they rarely emphasise business innovation and its crucial dynamic role. These factors engender something of a double paradox. First (paradox of the tools and the audience), newcomers are frequently 'turned off' by existing economics textbooks due to the pervasive use of mathematics. Second (paradox of the content and relevance), those newcomers who are not initially turned off tend to be disenchanted with economics because they perceive that economics is of little use in understanding the New Economy in which they work, or will come to work. We suggest an integrated solution to both paradoxes. The implementation entails a minor reorientation of the traditional pedagogical strategy for teaching introductory economics.

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow012199.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp05-16.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp05-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html

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  1. Gordon, Robert J, 2000. "Does the 'New Economy' Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2607, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U. S. Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1911, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
  4. MartinNeil Baily & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2001. "Do We Have a New E-conomy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 308-312, May.
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