Global Economies and Markets professor Daniel Murphy recently joined the ongoing “Office Hours” thought leadership series. Murphy shared insights on teaching economics at Darden, and how having a fundamental understanding of the economy provides value to all students — not just those interested in macroeconomics!

Murphy teaches a core class that focuses on macroeconomics exchange rates, and international trade. He also teaches an elective called Markets, Government and Society. Murphy’s elective poses the question, “Under what conditions is the free market efficient or optimal and what does that mean?” The elective class examines different government interventions to determine if they are effective at addressing the issues and any unintended consequences that arise from that intervention.

Murphy’s work and research addresses two broad questions: (1) What drives aggregate spending? And (2) how does aggregate spending affect macroeconomic outcomes, including unemployment, growth, welfare, and the spatial distribution of economic activity?

View the recording.

The way I saw a lot of economics instruction was 'here are a bunch of curves and graphs' - you memorize them, you shift some curves and then regurgitate it for a test, and at the end of the day you forget what it actually all meant. Whereas if we think about the curves and graphs and models that we teach in economics, they do serve a purpose. They are an analogy or metaphor for the world. At Darden we really focus on the intuition behind that metaphor and how it maps into reality. In terms of content and the class, I think that's really unique and useful. 

- Professor Daniel Murphy

Upcoming installments of “Office Hours”

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