Jul 23, 2008

The Economist Analysis

Don't you ever get the feeling that we learn more by reading newspapers and books and blogs and by discussing world affairs and economics with friends than by going to class? I feel I have learned micro by reading The Undercover Economist, and development by reading The Elusive Quest for Growth. But most of all, I think I have learned most from reading The Economist.

This is why I have a new idea for a Master's class. It would be called The Economist Analysis. Everyweek, required reading would consist of The Economist, and every class would start with a 10 minute quiz on world affairs or any part of that week's edition, with multiple choice and short answers questions. It would count as 20% of the grade.

Another part of the grade would be for each student to write an Economics Focus type column on a new working paper on any branch of economics he would find interesting. This would ba accompanied by a 5 minutes (strongly enforced) presentation and a discussion. (This part could be subsituted by an article that would fit in the International Section for MIA students). This would be worth 30% of the grade.

Then another requirment would be to choose an article and question its objectivity by reading about the topic in all sources available and discussing alternative point of views and determine if The Economist is biased. This would consist of a 2 page paper and a 5 minutes presentation, again followed by discussion. This would also be worth 30% of the grade.

5% of the grade would be attributed to contribution to comments on Free Exchange (the other blogs for the other sections). Another assignment would be to write a Letter to the Editor. Content and style would be taken into account and it would count for 5% as well. The final 10% of the grade would evaluate class participation, rigourously.

The Economist Analysis

Required reading: The Economist
  • Quiz (20%)
  • Economics Focus column (30%)
  • Objectivity Analysis (30%)
  • Free Exchange comments (5%)
  • Letter to the Editor (5%)
  • Participation (10%)

1 comment:

cosimo said...

In all humbleness, I do not think I would have enjoyed The Undercover Economist and The Elusive Quest for Growth without, respectively, having crashed my head on Mas Colell (and a lot of other micro stuff) and having followed Xavier Sala-i-Martin's Economic Growth classes.
The Economist class is a fine idea indeed. I just wonder who - among the dozens of highly motivated faculty members - would be willing to teach it. There will be a lot of competition, we should set up an auction, and get a department subscription to...The Economist with the resulting revenues :-)