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Do we need to change the way economics is taught?
Thomas F. Cooley is the Richard R. West Dean and the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics at New York University Stern School of Business, as well as a Professor of Economics in the NYU Faculty of Arts and Science. He was appointed Dean of NYU Stern in 2002.
The former President of the Society for Economic Dynamics and a Fellow of the Econometric Society, Dean Cooley has received numerous awards for his teaching and is recognized as a national leader in both macroeconomic theory and business education. He is a widely published scholar in the areas of macroeconomic theory, monetary theory and policy and the financial behavior of firms.
Before joining NYU Stern, Dean Cooley was a Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, University of Pennsylvania, and UC Santa Barbara. Prior to his academic career, Dean Cooley was a systems engineer for IBM Corporation. Dean Cooley received his BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a doctorem honoris causa from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Question: Do we need to change how economics is taught?
Thomas Cooley: I don't, but behavioral economics and behavioral finance is very much an active area of investigation. I think that it's-- you know, we encourage-- we have lots of faculty who are interested in pursuing research in behavioral economics and behavioral finance and looking at different ways of characterizing individual behavior. So far, the evidence is not compelling, one way or the other, so I think that behavioral economics has something to offer us. I think it's interesting. But I haven't seen enough that convinces me–– it's not that people aren't always rational all the time, rather it's that that's the best model we have for understanding behavior over long periods of time. So, but that's an ongoing debate.
NYU's Thomas Cooley has yet to see a reason why it should change.
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