I recommend Robert Frank’s lecture and Paul Romer talking about economic growth, as interviewed by Russ Roberts.

Frank discusses economic education. He says that studies show that six months after an economics course, students are no better at answering basic questions than students who have not had a course. He argues that students need to hear stories about economics and, more importantly, that they need to learn to tell economic stories, in order to truly grasp the subject. Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the pointer.

I will ask my students to listen to Frank’s talk, because he gets at some basic economic concepts. I will also ask them to listen to the Roberts-Romer podcast, for a couple of reasons. First, I teach economic growth as one of the units of my course, and the discussion is very much on point. Second, my preferred approach to teaching economics is conversational. If you think of an analogy with a foreign language, you want to get students to start speaking economics. Having them listen to Roberts and Romer have a conversation is helpful. I think that the conversation probably gets too fast and covers too much ground for a new student to absorb, but I would hope that something would sink in.