Sunday, March 4, 2007

15 Lectures: learning-by-doing

take a deep breath. pace yourself. 9 talks to go ....

Now, over halfway through the course, I sense momentum building. As I grip my chalk, I feel more confident. stronger, more articulate. concepts flow; one into the other. my graphs are straighter. what once was difficult and fun, is now much more fun than difficult. I am excited to ring in the aggregate demand- aggregate supply framework this week - we bring together the first nine chapters into conceptual harmony. The widgets (goods market), bonds (financial market) and the sex trade (labour market) together at last.

End teaching update.

Economic factoid
In my title, the term Learning-by-doing is a concept in economics that refers to the capability of workers to improve their productivity by regularly repeating the same type of action. The increased productivity is achieved through practice, self-perfection and minor innovations. The first theoretical model of this kind was constructed by American economist Kenneth Arrow (1921- ), but many empirical studies had been carried out in the early part of the 20th century. Note: Arrow is actually better know for his so called "Arrow's Impossibility Theorem" (- his contribution to learning-by-doing is buried in the above reference).

4 comments:

Matthew said...

Only Economists would need a mathematical proof that if you do something 10'000 times the 10'001st time would be faster than the 1st.

And your link in the article is broken. You should test them by using the preview function and rolling over them and reading the link on Firefox's status bar.

Matthew said...

P.S. You'd fail my class Mr Plagiariser
Economy Professor

Canadian Economist said...

Matthew: To your first point, learning-by-doing is simple concept, but the process of applying it to a dynamic economic models is not. If you are really interested here is a paper by a former professor of mine at McMaster University: here .

With respect to your second comment:
"... your link in [your comment] is broken. You should test them by using the preview function and rolling over them and reading the link on Firefox's status bar."

Matthew said...

I've fixed the Link

Economy Professor

Your Text

The first theoretical model of this kind was constructed by American economist Kenneth Arrow (1921- ), but many empirical studies had been carried out in the early part of the 20th century.

Economy Professor's Text

The first theoretical model of this kind was constructed by American economist Kenneth Arrow (1921- ), but many empirical studies had been carried out in the early part of the 20th century.

I would also like to say that I think the but is grammatically ambiguous and the statement that follows is incomplete. Did the empirical studies follow his model or was his model built on the data? Or did the data contradict his theories? Or did he construct a theory to explain something that was already accepted as common sense? (such as that if you do something 10'000 times the 10'001st time would be faster than the 1st)