Two Teaching Resources

William Luther has put together an excellent list of Planet Money episodes that are keyed to the relevant chapters in Modern Principles of Economics. A similar list is also available for the excellent intermediate-micro text by Goolsbee, Levitt and Syverson.

For graduate students, Luke Stein has put together a 64 page “cheat sheet” (pdf) for basically the first 2 years of micro and macro theory. It’s not for everyone but would be great for studying for prelims at many top programs. This diagram summarizing key results in consumer theory was excellent.


Planet Money is OK as an introduction, but like most journalism, it tends to be shallow and one-sided.

The Michigan list also contains a directory of accreditation bodies that are not recognised.

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I love the idea of a 64 page "cheat sheet". There's obviously a law to the effect of the longer a cheat sheet you need the less profound your subject must be.

Still, judging by the sample it does satisfy the economists' physics envy.

That cheat sheet is a big self-own on the entire academic field of economics.
For a good laugh skim through that cheat sheet and then read the abstracts of those job market papers Tyler often posts.

I am still very, very dubious about econometrics as The Way to do economics, indeed.

Scientism is the use of scientific techniques like mathematics and gathering data to give pseudo-science appearance of science. That's pretty much what social science including economics is all about these days. See the replication crisis and p-hacking.

The cheat sheet looks like the notes of a Stanford Ph.D. grad.

And indeed they are!

My dad was a Stanford electrical engineering PhD student under Bill Shockley in the 1960's and dad's notes were a thing of beauty - the detail, organization, and perfect penmanship are all amazing. I kept the notebooks after his death and occasionally show them to some of my colleagues and friends. Their jaws drop.

I've seen better from Berkeley Ph.D. grads ;-p

... a 1-paragraph cheat-sheet -- lists everything that 100% of Economists agree upon

Thanks Alex (and Luke). This looks like a much more comprehensive and better organized version of the index cards I made for myself during my studies (over 30 years ago; hence index cards). I ran across those cards a few years ago during a house move and realized I had never looked at them since. Which does sort of validate some of snark above about the disconnect in what is taught in econ PhD programs and what PhD economists do. But, this is an impressive summary and it wold have been a great help to me in grad school.

Grad students everywhere appreciate this kind of resources. If anyone else has stuff like this, please post it as a response to this comment.

Not to push you off-platform, but there has been various good advice posted on #econtwitter, including as responses to a recent post by @grad_econ ( )

Please, oppose Mr. Carreiro. Support Mr. Araújo.

Depends. I’m going to wait til I’ve heard what the dentists of Ohio think about the matter.

Dentists of Ohio have nothing to do with it. It is a Brazilian internal affair.

Without all that advanced knowledge that economists have created over time, would economies today look any different?

Not undergrad stuff, but all these mathematically expressed theories and notions as in the "cheat sheet".

Very useful, I will use this "cheat sheet" to explain how far college Economics has diverged from practical economic reality, which should convince my daughter to major in a more useful subject when she starts university. If she wants to study statistics, she can just major in that, and skip all the faulty economic theory with minimal predictive ability.

+1. Absolutely hillarious to see all this nonsense on those sheets - dynamic programming, partial differential equations - economists can't even definitively answer basic questions about the economy. What USE is all of that except to basically make studying economics some kind of priesthood.

Economists do not need particle physics envy, they have a huge uncertainty constant that the quantum effects are dominating through out. Economists need calculus envy because none for their calculus is really smooth under the conditions of high uncertainty.

It's a bit discouraging. I happened to see the cheat sheet notes of a friend's daughter who is in the last year of studying medicine. It was all very practical real world stuff about possible significance of high blood pressure, symptoms of this or that disease etc...

Good thing she doesn't have to compete against A.I...

Sad that economists and the coming generation of economists have people down to numbers and equations. They think it is a science. No wonder populism is so popular.

I was good at math until they started using a lot of Greek letters or other non-English symbols. At that point I stopped paying attention (though I continued taking the classes for a while.) It may have been because I wasn’t smart enough for the subject matter, but I think at least part of it was that I couldn’t write (or read) the symbols well enough to focus on the concepts. It took too much effort to translate every equation.

How much of the stuff in the cheatsheet is useful for thinking about the economy? Even hard-core fundamentalist libertarians would have to concede that there is more information about economic life in Marx's Capital than in the cheatsheet.

The cheat sheet will be useful to Ph.D. students in economics at many programs, so kudos to Luke Stein for compiling it. One can see how far removed such programs are from preparing students to analyze economic developments and make suggestions about economic policy (as I have spent a lot of time doing in my career) by noting that missing words and topics include capitalism, socialism, balance sheet, firm or corporation, equity (whether in the economic or philosophical sense), arbitrage, law or legal system, property in the legal rather than the mathematical sense, financial panic, recession or depression, and central bank.

Father Sarducci's 5 Minute University - see the Economics about 1:44 in -

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