ECONOMICS EDUCATOR: COURSES, CASES & TEACHING eJOURNAL

"A Mechanical Model for Teaching Macroeconomics" Free Download

DAVID HAROLD CHESTER, Independent
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The commonly used method for representing macroeconomics as a social system is by assuming the existence of a number of agencies (or entities) and of their various connecting links. In practice this is achieved and illustrated by the use of a block-and-flow diagram. For the case being considered in this paper, the whole social system of a country is deliberately included in its most complete, comprehensive yet simplest possible form (according to the scientific principle known as Occam’s Razor.) By making suitable assumptions, it is found that only 6 entities with 19 connecting links are required (actually 16 are used, 3 being duplicated).

This diagram for representing our social system is one of a number of different possible modelling techniques. An alternative way for its expression is by mechanical means, using a number of balancing-beams, weights and strings, with pulley-wheels. This kind of model is especially attractive for purposes of teaching, because of its visual and practical nature, with the ability to adjust it by hand. The use of this mechanical model brings into focus the need for definitions of the various entities within the system and their many functions, which is an attention-grabbing and attractive way of introducing the subject to new students.

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This eJournal is devoted to advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning economics encouraging contributors to combine ideas in economics with current ideas about teaching and learning, in a way that is public, open to critique, and in a form on which others can build in a timely manner. Unlike refereed journals, this electronic journal does not subject submissions to review but will publish abstracts as works in progress with links to the full-text working papers in the SSRN database. Eligible submissions could provide descriptions of innovative courses, case studies, student activities and other teaching materials and information related to the manner in which economics is taught or its teaching assessed at the post-secondary level. (Note: Suitable material submitted to the Journal of Economic Education (http://www.Indiana.edu/~econed) will be considered automatically for inclusion in Economics Educator, thus, giving potential JEE authors worldwide visibility for their work during the extensive JEE refereeing and editorial process.)

Editor: William Walstad, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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Advisory Board

Economics Educator: Courses, Cases & Teaching eJournal

SAM ANTHONY ALLGOOD
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

WILLIAM L. GOFFE
Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Oswego - Department of Economics

PAUL W. GRIMES
Dean, Kelce College of Business, Pittsburg State University, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Mississippi State University - College of Business

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

MICHAEL W. WATTS
Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education, Purdue University - Department of Economics