Living in a story; economics and narratives

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As I continue my summer-long vision quest to build the platonic ideal of an Econ 101 syllabus (kidding… maybe?), I’m thinking about modeling, representation, and narrative.

The question at hand for the course is how to balance “received wisdom” versus “how we do things”. I’ve always found one of the hardest things to get across in teaching economics the idea of modeling.

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Too big for their britches

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I join the chorus (here are just two examples) of those recommending J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. It has a voice and message so strong that I worry about diluting and trivializing it by even discussing it. It’s good enough to resist commentary a bit.

More than that, even, I’m a bit embarrassed to pull only politics from a rich and interesting memoir. But, like so many others, I have politics on the brain at the moment (also, shout out to the new show BrainDead!), and I can’t help myself, so here we go.

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