Using the Book as a Supplement

While there is always a desire to improve the teaching of economic principles, it is remarkable how few real changes have been incorporated into such classes over the past few generations. As teachers we want to arouse the innate curiosity of our students about economic events, so that with their awakened interest they can develop a long-lasting and deep understanding of economic ideas.

While basing an entire course around experiments is an effective way to teach students the principles of economics, such a course may be a large step for many institutions. An attractive alternative, on a smaller scale, is to incorporate a few of our experiments into a traditional lecture format course. The modular structure of the experiments allows instructors to easily pick and choose topics that will highlight important lecture material.

Although the experiments in the book are designed for class sizes of 60 or less, we have a number of ways for running experiments in large classes. In the long term, such experiments could be incorporated into the curriculum for large principle courses by following the model used by introductory courses in the physical and biological sciences. In these courses, experiments are conducted in separate laboratory sections, that are run concurrently with the main introductory course. (In fact, if you think back to your own experience in these types of courses, it is likely that the laboratory sessions provide some of your most vivid memories.) The pace of these laboratory courses is tied to that of the regular introductory courses, but some variance is acceptable.

Finally, if you are interested in only using a few of the experiments, you may want to contact your local McGraw Hill representative about the possibility of getting a customized publication of the book with only those chapters you would like.

When creating your course, you might find these page references useful.

Copyright (c) 1996, Theodore Bergstrom and John H. Miller, All Rights Reserved
John H. Miller , miller@zia.hss.cmu .edu.