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ECON 3700 - Writing as an Economist (Spring 2024): Connecting Economics & Everyday Life

Use Other People's Infomation & Data to Think with and Explain

In writing about your "economic puzzle",  you will want to:

  • Look for examples and reports  that describe similar phenomena (show your observation is not just  a one-off)
  • Look of things written by other people that explain or discuss the the phenomenon

Look at the list below to see some publications and some organizations that may help you think about your puzzle and how to explain it.

General - Can also help you get ideas

Thinking about Economic Ideas and Phenomena

Economics blogs, talks and podcasts contain shorter, more accessible discussions of phenomena, trends and ideas. The discussions may be quite stimulating and, if written by economists or economic journalists, may be well grounded in economic principles and convey a sense of how economists reason and argue. Because they are often intended for a broader audience, they may also provide good examples of how to explain a phenomenon to non-specialists. However, because they are not reviewed by peers or critiqued prior to publication, they must be used with care—as the start of a process of thought and research rather than as conclusive evidence.

Writing about Economics for a Broader Audience

Typically, popular economics books are written by economists or economic journalists. Tthey aim to make complex academic ideas clear, accessible and engaging to "the layperson". If done well, they can be valuable even to students and practitioners.

You may already know the principles from your economics training, but such books can help you see how good writers convey these concepts and explain phenomena convincingly in plain language.  Below are some readable and interesting examples.

CORE eBooks

The CORE project (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics) - a group of economists  working to rethink how economics is taught and learned.

In their ebooks:

  •  CORE strives to place economic problems and principles in a real-world context.
  • They aim  to make the content and pedagogy of their textbooks more interesting and relevant to a wider range of students as compared to conventional economics textbooks and instruction.
  • Their books may help you see how economic principles can help to understand the world around you. Below we list the books we find most directly relevant to this course.
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