Table of Contents

Teaching Business Cycles with the IS-TR Model

Juha Tervala, University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies

Teaching Economics: The Wea Textbook Commentaries Project

K. Stuart Birks, Massey University - College of Business


"Teaching Business Cycles with the IS-TR Model" Free Download
HECER Discussion Paper No. 382

JUHA TERVALA, University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies

Business cycles are an essential part of macroeconomics. However, the study of macroeconomics often ignores the observed business cycles. During and after the global financial crisis, several economists have emphasized that macroeconomics courses will have to be changed. This paper presents a real world application of the IS-TR model, which helps to explain and teach business cycles. The simple Keynesian model clearly explains output fluctuations and the conduct of monetary policy. The main reason for strong business cycles in the euro area has been shocks in the goods market. The European Central Bank has changed its main interest rate mainly as a reaction to changes in the output gap.

"Teaching Economics: The Wea Textbook Commentaries Project" Free Download

K. STUART BIRKS, Massey University - College of Business

There is currently a lot of controversy about the nature of economics teaching around the world. Criticisms focus on a perceived overemphasis on a narrowly defined "mainstream economics". These concerns are being widely voiced by academics and students alike. This presentation briefly outlines some of the factors leading to the increasing dominance of this mainstream approach. These include the nature of teaching and assessment resources that are provided by key textbooks, the standardization of courses and degree structures, and the impact of research assessment exercises.

The presentation then indicates some of the concerns that have been voiced about this development, such as the political messages implicit in this framing and the disregard for important economic phenomena including instability and adjustments over time. Attempts to bring about change include the development of alternative textbooks. These can be useful, but several such books have been written over the past 20 years to little effect.

In this context, the World Economics Association’s Textbook Commentaries Project seeks to provide a platform for independent, inclusive, participatory enrichment of courses. The project is outlined and reasons given as to why this might be a means of increasing the influence of alternative and critical material. Ways in which the audience can contribute to the project and use its resources are also described.


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Advisory Board

Economics Educator: Courses, Cases & Teaching eJournal

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Oswego - Department of Economics

Dean, Kelce College of Business, Pittsburg State University, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Mississippi State University - College of Business

Professor of Economics, University of Richmond - E. Claiborne Robins School of Business

Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education, Purdue University - Department of Economics