Excel in Economics Teaching
Teaching Excel Skills to Economics Students
TimeWeb is a collection of online worksheets on the discovery, analysis and presentation of data, including a dedicated Excel Guide. The datasets are freely available to UK Higher Education institutions.
Todd Easton and Stela Dhami have an Excel skills booklet for their MBA statistics course (Word format), which lecturers are allowed to reuse so long as they give credit and notify the original authors.
The STARS (Statistical Education from Real Datasets) project is releasing datasets and accompanying worksheets to teach Excel graphing and statistical analysis skills.
Teaching Economics with Excel
Our journal CHEER has several papers on using Excel and other spreadsheets as teaching tools, for example:
- Optimal Control Theory for Undergraduates Using the Microsoft Excel Solver Tool by Ernst Juerg Weber, 2007
- Simulating a Simple Real Business Cycle Model Using Excel by Toru Hokari et al., 2007
- "History Matters: Modelling Path Dependence on a Spreadsheet" by Chris Hand, 2006
- "Analysing the Effects of Excise Taxes Using Microsoft Excel" by J. Wilson Mixon, Jr. and Bradley N. Hopkins, 2006
- "A Trade War Simulation/ Experiment in Excel" by John Gilbert, 2005
- "Using Microsoft Excel in Principles of Economics" by J. Wilson Mixon, Jr and Soumaya Tohamy, 2000
- "Teaching Linear Programming using Microsoft Excel Solver" by Ziggy MacDonald, 1995
Teaching Case Studies
Soumaya M. Tohamy and J. Wilson Mixon Jr. of Berry College, USA use Excel's Solver to illustrate constant elasticity of substitution (CES) utility functions. Papers on implementing this and other models are available on their Economics in Excel site.
Aaron Schiff hosts a graphical introduction to building models in Excel on his blog.
Downloadable Models and Workbooks
Look in our catalogue of online learning materials, especially worksheets and interactive tutorials. On this server, we host Richard Green's ten spreadsheets for use in teaching economics, which come with printable worksheets.
Mathtools.net has a section of links related to using Excel in economics and finance.
Introductory Economics Labs is a website with a set of standalone computer labs for an Introductory Economics course. The student uses Microsoft Word and Excel to answer questions. Students fill in a lab journal containing their answers. Completed journals can be printed or electronically submitted. Answer keys are available to instructors who must first obtain a password.
Creating Web Pages with Excel
Spreadsheet Converter is a cheap tool (US$99) that converts an Excel worksheet into an interactive web page. The resulting page can be embedded in a VLE, read on mobile devices and can include interactive charts. See the case study.
Assessments with Excel
ExcelAssess is free software allowing you to compile self-marking Excel exams from a library of questions including maths, statistics and introductory and intermediate economics.
Mike Rosser of Coventry University has developed a similar assessment system which is described in his DEE 2007 conference presentation
- How to import a table from PDF into Excel
- How to customise Excel toolbars
- How to freeze headers in Excel
Many more Excel tips, in video form, are available at Datapigtechnologies and Teach-ICT. A downloadable manual and reference guide can be downloaded from Mouse Training, with permission to redistribute.