3 Colleges' Different Approaches Shape Learning in Econ 101

Econ 101: From College to College, Only the Name Is the Same 1

Matt McLoone for The Chronicle

Donald J. Boudreaux, at George Mason U., works hard to entertain his students.

No matter the college, a class in the principles of microeconomics is likely to cover the discipline's greatest hits.

Opportunity cost? Check. Supply and demand? Ditto. The same goes for such topics as comparative advantage, elasticity, and market structures.

But these touchstones of the curriculum may only modestly influence what a student actually learns. What matters more are a course's unspoken attributes that colleges rarely make plain and about which students almost