Brief notes on communicating economic ideas

Hey all.  I am doing a short presentation on communicating economic ideas – a bit of an abstract conversation where I talk about it in terms of assumptions.  This is similar to last year’s NZAE paper, but focused on only a subset of what was covered.

The presentation can be found here.

It is aimed at people who do economic modelling and have a core framework that they use with other economists.  It is about conceptualising the ways we adjust our arguments/models to communicate them to a broader public, and in turn focuses on the types of assumptions we put in place – and the ways economists need to be careful with how these are communicated, so to avoid accidentally misleading or overselling.

7 replies
  1. Kimble
    Kimble says:

    Thought you might be interested in this, if you havent seen it already:

    While I agree with you that physicists should generally STFU about economics, there are some similarities in how both physics and economic concepts bounces off the brains of lay people. They are often counter-intuitive, and yet people still reckon they have a natural understanding of both.

    PS. He has a GREAT youtube channel called Veritasium. Worth checking out.

    • Matt Nolan
      Matt Nolan says:

      This seems awesome, and I’m sure it will be very useful cheers!

      I don’t think physicists should STFU about economics – just have a little bit more respect for the fact we have done work, and perhaps “check” before telling the media economists are stupid 😉

      • Kimble
        Kimble says:

        So I just made up that bit about you thinking physicists should STFU about economics, huh?

        • Matt Nolan
          Matt Nolan says:

          I’m guessing it was from this:

          http://www.tvhe.co.nz/2014/05/28/can-physicists-please-look-at-a-basic-textbook-before-releasing-these-things/

          But at the end of my rant I said:

          “If you want to look at economic data and say things, that is cool, do so physicists – I actually hold hope that you dudes and dudettes will add heaps to our understanding. But before saying “look at this 100 level result, economists haven’t thought of it and are morons” actually read what economists have f’ing said in the past. Arrogant sons of guns – I am utterly furious, and this was defacto published by the AAAS as it is their mag. FFS!”

          So it is more “pull it in and stop being douches” than “STFU”.

          • Kimble
            Kimble says:

            Well, it takes a big man to admit when they’re wrong.

            Consequently, I now have an even greater respect for you.

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