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Timothy A. Wunder

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 3: Economic Methodology

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Economic Methodology
Economic methodology

Undergraduate students are often introduced to economic concepts using graphical expressions, and the expressions become the defining method of explaining and exploring the economic realm. The graphs become what the students perceive as “economics,” and this is what is meant as “methodology.” If you ask the students, “How do you do economics?” the answer would be based on the graphical examples offered in the classes. Methodology is a complicated way of saying, “These are the tools economists use to explain the economy.” Beginning students are offered very simple tools to explain the concepts of supply, demand, and equilibrium, but the ideas, as well as the graphs, are all part of the methodology.

In most undergraduate economics classes, theory is offered to the student ...

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