Teaching and Learning Economics through Cinema

Girardi, Gherardo (2007) Teaching and Learning Economics through Cinema. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 4 (2). pp. 106-110. ISSN 1740-5106


In July 2006 the author and a small team of colleagues received funding from the Economics Network of the Higher Education Authority to enable the development of a new module which aims to teach economics through the arts, in particular through the use of cinema and literature ...

The idea of teaching economics with cinema is not new, and is practiced in a number of educational institutions in the United States. The approach used in that country is, however, quite different from the one proposed here and used in the pilot study. In the United State, modules are usually run in the students’ first year presenting a variety of fundamental economic concepts such as opportunity cost, scarcity, aymmetric information and illustrating them using films (see, for example, Leet and Houser (2003)). The approach developed here is, in a sense, the reverse of that process since it is the medium of cinema which is allowed to inform and suggest the economic concepts that can be discussed through this medium. As a consequence, the range of topics covered is much wider and the approach also allows coverage of unconventional topics such as the economics of charities, dowries and the economics of crime.

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