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Using NPR's Planet Money Podcast in Principles of Macroeconomics

15 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014 Last revised: 9 Dec 2014

William J. Luther

Kenyon College; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: February 4, 2014


Unfamiliar with aggregate concepts like gross domestic product and inflation, many introductory students struggle to understand the big ideas in macroeconomics. Macroeconomic educators typically respond with boring lectures aimed at bringing students up to speed; or, by jumping to the interesting topics their students are not yet prepared to consider. In an effort to combat this problem, I have incorporated NPR’s Planet Money podcast into my Principles of Macroeconomics course. I describe the podcast and provide a list of episodes others might find useful. In my experience, the Planet Money podcast is well received. Students enjoy listening to the assigned episodes. They report that it made them more interested in the principles course, helped them understand the relevance of macroeconomics, and increased their understanding of many macroeconomic issues. Most students also feel more comfortable discussing macroeconomic issues having listened to the podcast. And nearly half of those students surveyed say they will continue listening to the podcast after the course ends.

Keywords: National Public Radio, Planet Money, Podcast, Teaching

JEL Classification: A1, A22

Suggested Citation

Luther, William J., Using NPR's Planet Money Podcast in Principles of Macroeconomics (February 4, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

William Luther (Contact Author)

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States


American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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