Saturday, December 1, 2007

Is Economics Becoming Trendy and Fashionable?

When I became an Economics teacher, 8 years ago, I was firmly under the impression that economics was a boring subject. Fiscal deficits, current accounts, money supply, MV=PY, and the monetarist theory of inflation was about as exciting as it gets. Yet, these days it appears that economics has developed a rather fashionable / trendy public image.

Not least amongst the reasons, is the popularity of the best selling, Freakonomics. Written in an engaging, and quirky style it looks at everyday problems and examines them from an economist perspective. There seems to be little that cannot be explained through Economics, from Roe vs Wade (abortion) to decisions by school teachers and sumo wrestlers.

The runaway success of Freakonomics and its associated blog has spawned many similar books such as:

Fortunately, or unfortunately, such juicy questions are unlikely to start appearing on Economics A Level and University exams. But, nevertheless they do serve to illustrate the all pervading influence of economics.

I had an English teacher who was fond of saying Shakespeare was all about Economics. (yes, I agree a strange thing for an English teacher to say. His argument was that if Shakespeare had been born in a time of less economic affluence. His plays would have never been written)

We even have a economic stand up in Yarum Baumon - Funny Economic video

One might ask where it is all going to end?

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