Saturday, December 12, 2009

Solow Growth Model in AP Economics

Summary: Teaching teachers to teach. Solow Growth Model.

Can the Solow Growth Model be applied to education?

Let's assume that the production function takes the form Y = F(K,L,H) where H is the ratio of skilled labor to unskilled labor. If this ratio is "1" then the economy approaches the steady-state shown in this graphic.

If society invests in more education, then both the investment and income curves will shift up and society will reach a higher steady state.

Both investment and income curves will shift up if more capital, (computers?) are given to each worker or student.

Just throwing computers at workers won't increase productivity. Workers must be taught. To paraphrase one economist, "When workers are given new technology, they use it in old ways." I think investment in best teaching practices with the best teachers will lead to continued growth. In other words, we should teach teachers to teach.

This is the goal of the Council for Economic Education. The goal is to give teachers the tools and the training to become effective in their classrooms.

About the Author: Mike Fladlien is an AP Economics teacher from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, IA. He is an author.


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