Educating economists

How well are universities teaching their economics students? This is the question a number of academic and non-academic economists have been addressing since a conference this time last year held under the auspices of the Government Economic Service and Bank of England. The conference papers were published as What’s The Use of Economics: Teaching the Dismal Science After the Crisis – reviewed by Declan Jordan yesterday in the LSE Review of Books.

What’s the Use of Economics?: Teaching the Dismal Science After the Crisis

The debate continued yesterday at a meeting of several dozen economists held at the Treasury, working towards a statement suggesting some directions for curriculum and teaching reform, although of course it will be for individual university departments to decide whether or not they think change is needed. The statement will be published after a bit of revision and discussion.

At the meeting Wendy Carlin presented an updated model from her macroeconomics text with David Soskice, integrating a financial sector into the basic three equation model. Their new textbook will be published later this year and will obviously be well worth while. Wendy cited Claudio Borio’s excellent paper on what we’ve learnt about the financial cycle and macroeconomics, thanks to the crisis.

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