Economists Do It With Models

Warning: “graphic” content…

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Commentary On Econgirl’s First Videos…

September 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Drumroll please…econgirl’s first videos have gone live! You will notice a link on the header above for the new videos page, and I will be putting up the videos (with random commentary) as blog posts as well.

These videos are a work in progress, and I expect that they will get better as I go along…or rather I hope that they get better, or at least quicker to create! For this first set, it took me about a half hour to play with random lighting so that I could have a room that wasn’t too dark yet didn’t have too much of a reflection on the markerboard…I may have fashioned some makeshift lampshades that are probably much more flammable than is reasonable, so keep your fingers crossed for me. Also, I don’t know how many of you have ever actually tried this, but it’s super awkward to talk to a video camera in an empty room. I felt a little like a crazy person, and I now understand why talk shows have live studio audiences. Maybe next time I’ll set up an “audience” of Gizmo (my dog) and some stuffed animals.

In terms of content, I just ask that you bear with me while we get through the introductory chapters, since I don’t find the up front material to be particularly engaging. (In fact, I don’t usually teach it, which is why the videos are a little bit more rambling than I would like.) If I wasn’t specifically trying to follow the Mankiw textbook, I probably would have just left it out.

The first video just gives a brief introduction to what economics is and how economic models are analogous to those used in the hard sciences…

The second introduces the production possibilities frontier as our first model and gives an example…

The third video outlines the circular flow of resources in the economy and discusses the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics…

Next up is an example of comparative advantage and labor specialization, so stay tuned…

(You can find the videos directly on my YouTube channel here.)

Tags: Videos

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rich // Sep 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    These were great: I’d happily watch an hour of material like this per week, or maybe more. Thank you. (I especially liked the captions.)

    I think you need to expand on the role of capital, as it seems to me – and I know *nothing* about economics – that financial capital is a flow of dollars from households to firms, or at least that firms sell equity to households for dollars.

    Also, there are clearly flows of factors of production, goods, services and money between firms too.

  • 2 Jim // Sep 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Great stuff! Keep it up!

  • 3 Keith Harmon // Sep 15, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Hmmm…. Makes me want to do it with models, as always… In the production possibilities frontiers video, I think you should have had a point E which represented the least efficient use of the stooges skills with only 15 lawns mowed and 15 cars washed. It would have shown a range of efficiency curves, and illustrated a 60% more effective economy due to intelligent design (barring all the pie-throwing, face-slapping, and eye-poking taking place at and on local car washes and front lawns, of course .)

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