November 10, 1999

How We Might Be Able to Do a Better Job of Teaching Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics Textbook Manifesto

There is an apocryphal rule about new textbooks: they can only have 15% new material. A successful new textbook must be different enough from the old standards to give professors an incentive to switch, but must to similar enough to the old standards to keep the process of switching from requiring professors to throw away all their old lecture notes and completely redesign their courses. This is a neat trick. It makes intellectual progress--at least intellectual progress in undergraduate instruction--nearly impossible.

Nevertheless, I believe that I can accomplish it. I think that I can greatly slim down "legacy" topics that are now included largely for intellectual-historical reasons (and that cause difficulty and confusion in teaching). I also think that I can make significant expositional improvements in several areas. Thus I think I can wind up with a shorter book that teaches students more material of interest and remains similar enough to past macroeconomics textbooks to be generally acceptable...

Posted by DeLong at November 10, 1999 03:56 PM | TrackBack

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