Methodology, pedagogy & the Austrian school

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I wanted to become an academic economist after discovering the Austrian school as an undergraduate. This prompted an interest in economic methodology and I’ve written articles that explain (and defend) methodological individualism; and argued that recent developments in the Austrian school have extended the use of thought experiments to create an entire family of comparative and counterfactual analysis research strategies. I believe that there is currently a second revival in Austrian economics, and wrote a brief survey of contemporary developments in the Austrian school of economics, signalling that: (i) the amount of Austrian research and the number of Austrian researchers is growing exponentially; (ii) good Austrian economists are not being marginalised by the economics profession; and (iii) there have been significant advances in our understanding of economics made recently.

I have also documented the spread of the Austrian school in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall, providing a rare history of “centre-right” political ideas in Eastern Europe; a chronology of the development and influence of libertarianism; cursory intellectual biographies of neglected Austrian economists; and empirical evidence that contributes to the epistemic communities approach to the study of idea diffusion.

My dissertation advisor was Peter J. Boettke (pictured above), who I view as the dean of the contemporary Austrian movement. I’ve utilised experiential evidence to argue that he utilises a successful pedagogical philosophy that is common to being both a sports coach and graduate teacher. I also believe that the “case method” is a pedagogical method that should be of interest to Austrian school economists. Not only can it provide students with a richer learning experience, but there are important methodological points of tangency.

As an instructor of managerial economics I try to employ innovative pedagogical techniques. I have created an app to help students learn about the financial crisis, and a simulation to understand the EU debt problem. I’ve also tried to champion the Dynamic AD-AS model.

If you are a student interested in learning more about Austrian economics, see these posts:

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