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What We Teach and What We Do

Fifty years ago what we taught in the principles of economics course reflected reasonably well what we did in our research. That, however, is no longer the case; today what we teach has a more nuanced relation to what we do. The reason is that the economics profession and the texts have evolved differently. This paper deals with the implications of the changes that have occurred in the profession for the way economics is taught and the way economics is presented in the micro principles textbooks. First, it summarizes the changes I see happening in the profession. Second, it discusses the stories that the principles texts tell in micro. Third, it discusses how those stories might change to better reflect what economists currently do.

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