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Teaching Economics

Couts Wrote: Jul 03, 2012 7:21 AM
Mr. Sowell has been my Economics teacher for the last 2 or 3 years. I've read his Basic Economics book at least 3 times, learning more each time; in addition, I've read "Applied Economics," "Economic Facts and Fallacies," Intellectuals an Society," and "Knowledge and Decisions." That last one is a scholarly work, not easy to read at all, but is widely considered his best book. In it he expounds and expands F. A. Hayek's analysis concerning the use of knowledge in society. Knowledge is a scarce resource, and that fact is taken to its logical conclusion: Utopias (of different stripes), and their adherents, all claim knowledge that they cannot possibly have, leading to authocratic and totalitarian regimes. Sowell is an intellectual giant
Having taught economics at a number of colleges for a number of years, I especially welcomed a feature article in the June 22nd issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, on how economics courses with the same name can be very different at different colleges. It can also be very different when the course is taught by professors in the same department who have different approaches.

The usefulness of the three approaches described in the article depends on what the introductory course is trying to accomplish.

One professor taught the subject through a steady diet of mathematical models. If the introductory economics course...