campus partner(s)

American Economic Association






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

David Charles Colander

American Economic Association

Grant Summary

$74,500 over 24 months. The American Economic Association's Committee on Economic Education (AEA-CEE) will investigate how the economics major and economics coursework taken by students in other majors can more effectively support the goals of a liberal education. Key issues that are expected to arise out of these discussions include the skills developed in entry-level courses, the personalization of economics for students, and the inevitable tensions and tradeoffs in addressing both the technical and practical aspects of the discipline. Members of the AEA-CEE and authors of prominent earlier studies on the economics major and profession will be the key stakeholders in developing the study, but many others will contribute.

The overall project entails several initiatives—an initial conference, several smaller meetings, surveys of recent economics graduates, economics faculty, and employers of recent economics majors, a mini-conference of employers, panel discussions and paper presentations at the national AEA meetings as well as the four regional professional meetings, and an ongoing discussion of the issues on the economics teaching listserv—leading to a final White Paper and a set of responses to that paper. The working group will propose that the final report, comments, and lists of best practices should be published by a major economics journal to assure further dissemination and discussion.