The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

2 The case method through the use of newsclips

The use of newspaper articles in economics is relatively well documented (e.g. Becker, 1998). Many instructors like to use newsclips because they portray the complexity of business and political situations and the role of economic theory in unravelling that complexity. Case studies and, by implication, newsclips allow teachers to manipulate data, investigate hypotheses, deal with uncertainty and complexity and, ultimately, come to a decision. Many introductory textbooks complement the more formal exposition of theories and concepts with newsclips that show the applicability of theory to practice. However, less is known and written about the actual use of newspaper articles in the teaching room and its pedagogical value. The work of Becker (1998) is, therefore, something of an exception. He discusses his experience in using newsclips to motivate students’ analysis and to help them to learn quantitative skills. The next subsections intend to address these issues, but before this is done we present a short taxonomy of newsclips.