Introduction to the series
(John Fountain writing, Doug Allen in the webcast)
In this first , short clip, Prof Doug Allen introduces himself and John Fountain and the series – which is for John to raise questions for Doug about the important economic concepts that Doug introduces in his first year microeconomics course Econ 103 at Simon Fraser University. So what else is new you are saying. Aren’t first year econ courses a dime a dozen these days? What’s different about Doug’s course, and his textbook “Economic Principles: 7 ideas for thinking about almost anything “ , is that Doug challenges students to think, reason, argue, and apply these key ideas of economics – it is not a course where rote memorisation or mechanical calculations will enable you to pass, much less do well. In fact, I (JF speaking ) haven’t seen a textbook like this since Alchian and Allen’s text “Exchange and Production: Competition Coordination and Control.”. It turned out that both Doug and I taught first year econ courses from Alchian and Allen way back….decades before most students we teach now were born! And that book taught us to “be” economists. Doug’s book is doing that now for students at SFU. But the book is one thing, Doug the instructor is another. He is everything a student could ask for in a university instructor, everything – dynamic, challenging, stimulating, interesting, funny ….his lectures are a treat! Every grad student in economics, every sessional instructor, every new, and most seasoned, introductory economics instructors should themselves engage with introductory microeconomics Doug Allen style. As he says, students either love my course or hate my course…there is no middle ground. So this series is as much an introduction to Doug as an economist as it is to the basic ideas of economics and of economic reasoning. Enjoy !.