Thursday, September 17, 2009

Line Up All the Economists

There's an old economist joke that says something to the effect of "if you line up all the economists end to end, you still couldn't reach a conclusion."

Now there's an interesting paper in the most recent issue of Econ Journal Watch. (HT to Greg Mankiw.)
It's a poll of members of the American Economic Association on key policy issues. While the profession holds a wide range of opinions on various policies, it is very interesting to see the topics that command majorities and even, in some cases, strong assent or dissent (more than 2/3 majority).

It might be fun to run a similar poll in your class as a pre-test post-test for the semester, and see how student opinions change as a result of your course. (This could be especially fun for an AP or IB course where you go into topics a bit deeper.)

Just a thought. I'd be interested in your comments.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Good reference.. I was just reading the survey questions to Phil DePauw to see if he "thinks like an economist". I think I will use some of these questions with my students towards the end of the course. Or, better yet, ask them now for a baseline and see if their answers change.