...the macro professor I TA for showed the first Keynes-Hayek rap in class today.
Oh well :)
In seriousness, though, I was surprised to hear her even raise the issue of the Austrian school halfway through the lecture - and I was glad she did. We finished our coverage of fiscal policy, and then she started talking about criticisms. She mentioned New Classical macro and then she said that the most prominent criticism today was from the Austrian school. Within a certain context (i.e. - as the most publicly/politically prominent criticism) this is probably correct.
She didn't get into anything too detailed, but she did talk about their views on interest rates and the housing bubble, and perspectives on the Fed and interest rate determination in the loanable funds market.
The feedback from the class on the video was telling. We've talked explicitly about Keynes and Keynesianism for two and a half lectures now - first with aggregate demand and supply, then with actual discussion of fiscal policy, and finishing up that discussion today - and she's discussed Keynes by name in each lecture. No real discussion of the Austrian school, but after the video she asked "who thinks Keynes won the debate" [two hands or so went up out of the whole lecture hall... I refrained to register my vote], then she asked "who thinks Hayek won" [a bunch of hands shoot up - although in fairness most of the 250 or so present abstained - probably a fifth raised their hands].
It just goes to show you, when you make a video where (1.) Keynes says he wants to steer the economy, (2.) Hayek says he wants you to be free, (3.) Keynes appears indifferent between waging wars and constructing public works, (4.) Keynes is acting like a jackass generally, and (5.) Keynes the jackass ends the video barfing in a toilet, then yes - undergraduates who have never read Hayek or Keynes will respond positively to Hayek but not Keynes.
And this is really the issue - that the video really doesn't help the students understand the actual disagreement between Keynes and Hayek. It is fun, yes. But it takes an important debate in economics and acts like it's a debate about ideology where one guy likes freedom and the market and the other guy likes government and control. And it should be no surprise at all that this is the message that the video conveys, since it is a message that is explicitly embraced by its creators, Russ Roberts and John Papola.
I have a macro review session tonight - I'll be going over the liquidity preference, the multiplier, crowding out, and automatic stabilizers - but it will be interesting to see if the students bring up the video.
As a side note, I had not noticed until today that Mike Munger is in the first video as well as the second.
For the Weekend...
2 hours ago