Economics 101: What Are U.S. Students Learning?

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Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Alan Krueger, economics professor at Princeton University, talks with Tom Keene about economic education in the United States in today’s “This Matters Now” on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

How do we need to change economic education?

They need to be involved, engaged.

From day one?

From day one, learning about topics relevant to their lives.

We are teaching micro and macro economics like it is 1910. how did we get to this stage?

Whack about 2 million students take economics each year, they took the college book and they watered it down, which is not appropriate.

I tried to reinvent the course, teach them behavioral economics, present them with interviews of people who shaped the economy, and give them interviews.

There is such an emphasis on the dynamics and the math of economics.

We risk losing that if we go to soft, right?

Alfred marshall said that he would figure out the math and a race the intuition.

There is a little bit of math, not more than a few equations, but they are mostly in the appendices and you can find it online.

The same thing is you, putting policy first, how do you teach policy different after serving president obama?

A great question.

The book was completed just what i was leaving the administration.

You had time to write a book while you were serving the president?

No, i had no time.

Most of it was completed before i went to work for the government.

[laughter] but i also worked on it in between.

There are lots of examples from the financial crisis that matter deeply in people's lives.

Policy response to the crisis.

So, i try to enlighten the book with actual examples.

Education today, what is the number one mistake that schools make as well as professionals -- schools make with freshman?

Freshman in college?

I think it varies across schools, but students need some individualized education, no matter where they are.

Someone needs to know the name of that student.

Alan krueger, louver surveillance, good morning.

-- bloomberg surveillance, good

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