OUR ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT

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Virtually every business school and undergraduate program in business ensures that graduates have taken a series of undergraduate courses in economics, statistics, business law, unspecified social science courses, management science, accounting, taxation and marketing.

The theory is that this “well-rounded education” prepares graduates for a future in business world. We beg to differ. As James Kwak describes in his book ECONOMISM, university graduates leave with only a “knee-jerk” exposure to the concepts of economics. Enough understanding “to be dangerous”- particularly 5 years later when they can only vaguely remember something about efficient markets, comparative advantage, the invisible hand and the concept of supply and demand – but not the assumptions that they’re based on.
Ha-Joon Chang discusses the SWISS PARADOX in his book 23 THINGS THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT CAPITALISM. He refers to the use of universities to filter out job applicants and the concept of degree inflation. These days western nations are investing in post-secondary education on an industrial scale. Unfortunately graduates spend longer in school – but much of their professional skills must still be developed on the job.

For his part Russ Roberts discusses the NARRATIVE FALLACY and CONFIRMATION BIAS, concepts which force us to challenge our assumptions about what we think we know.