Do we need to change the way economics is taught?

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.

Recorded: 3/21/08


NYU's Thomas Cooley has yet to see a reason why it should change.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less