Teaching Economics in a Management School: Some Personal Quandaries

  • Partha RayEmail author


The paper looks into the issue of the relationship between economics and management studies in a management school. Instead of attempting any grand view, the paper seeks to look into three distinct questions viz.,: (a) usefulness of learning economics in a management school; (b) utility of case studies as a pedagogical devise in the study of economics; and (c) relationship between finance and economics as distinct disciplines. The broad inferences of the paper are the following. First, while learning economics would be of use to a student of management as a background, its usage and application need not be exaggerated in the sense that knowledge and running of a corporation are quite different from knowledge/running of the whole economy. Second, while traditionally economics is taught in a deductive manner, usage of case studies to teach economics could be worthwhile in a management school. Third, despite the close links/parentage, finance as discipline has been able to establish its adulthood from economics; however, the recent disjoint between finance and economics have turned costly for both to the disciplines.


Finance Economics Case study Global financial crisis Welfare 


  1. American Finance Association (AFA). (1946). American Finance Association. Journal of Finance, 1(1), 1.Google Scholar
  2. British Academy. (2009). British Academy reveals ‘Dangerous Recipe’ to the Queen. Available at
  3. Blinder, A. S. (1994). On sticky prices: Academic theories meet the real world. In N. Gregory Mankiw (Ed.), Monetary Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bodie, Z., Merton, R. C., & Cleeton, D. (2009). Financial economics (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.Google Scholar
  5. Campos, J., Ericsson, N. R., & Hendry, D. F. (2005). General-to-specific modeling: An overview and selected bibliography. U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. International Finance Discussion Papers, Number 838Google Scholar
  6. Carlson, J. A., & Schodt, D. W. (1995). Beyond the lecture: Case teaching and the learning of economic theory. Journal of Economic Education, 26(1), 17–28.Google Scholar
  7. Constantinides, G. M., Harris, M., & Stulz, R. M. (Eds.). (2003). Handbook of the economics of finance, Vol. 1, Part A (Corporate Finance). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  8. Elul, R. (1995). Welfare effects of financial innovation in incomplete markets economies with several consumption goods. Journal of Economic Theory, 65, 43–78.Google Scholar
  9. Fama, E. F. (1980). Agency problems and the theory of the firm. Journal of Political Economy, 88(2), 288–307.Google Scholar
  10. Fayol, H. (1916). Industrial and general administration, (J. A. Coubrough, Trans.). Geneva: International Management Institute (1930).Google Scholar
  11. Fraser, S (2005). Every man a spectacular: A history of walls street in american life. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  12. Greenwood, R., & Scharfstein, D. (2012). The growth of modern finance. Harvard business school working paper. Available at
  13. Grünbaum, A. (1976). Is falsifiability the touchstone of scientific rationality? (Chap. 1). In T. Kupka (Ed.), (2013) Collected works of Adolf Grünbaum (vol. I, pp. 9–42). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hart, O. (1975). On the optimality of equilibrium when the market structure is incomplete. Journal of Economic Theory, 11, 418–443.Google Scholar
  15. Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3, 305–360.Google Scholar
  16. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decisions under risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keenan, M. (1990). Fifty years of the American Finance Association. Journal of Finance, 46(3), 1113–1123.Google Scholar
  18. Krugman, P. (1996). A country is not a company. Harvard business review (January–February).Google Scholar
  19. Markowitz, H. (1952). Portfolio selection. Journal of Finance, 7(1), 77–91.Google Scholar
  20. Modigliani, F., & Miller, M. H. (1958). The cost of capital, corporate finance and the theory of investment. American Economic Review, 48, 261–297.Google Scholar
  21. Popper, K. R. (1962). Science as falsification. In Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  22. Porter, M. E. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. New York: Free Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Prince, M. J., & Felder, R. M. (2006). Inductive teaching and learning methods: Definitions, comparisons, and research bases. Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2), 123–138.Google Scholar
  24. Rumelt, R. P., Schendel, D., & Teece, D. J. (1991). Strategic management and economics. Strategic Management Journal, 12, 5–29.Google Scholar
  25. Shiller, R. J. (2012). Finance and the Good Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Sims, C. A. (1980). Macroeconomics and reality. Econometrica, 48(1), 1–48.Google Scholar
  27. Sinha, A. (2016). From Management Institutes to Business Schools—An Indian Journey. In M. Thakur & R. Babu (Eds.), Management Education in India: Perspectives and Practices. New Delhi: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Stone, H. B. J., & Ranchhod, A. (2006). Competitive advantage of a nation in the global arena: A quantitative advancement to Porter’s diamond applied to the UK, USA and BRIC nations. Strategic Change, 15, 283–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Waverman, L. (1995). A critical analysis of Porter’s framework on the competitive advantage of nations. In A. Rugman, J. Van den Broeck, & A. Verbeke (Eds.), Research in global strategic management: Volume V. Greenwich, Connecticut: Jai Press.Google Scholar
  30. Williamson, O. E. (1964). The economics of discretionary behavior: Managerial objectives in a theory of the firm. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  31. Wren, D. A., & Bedeian, A. G. (2009). The evolution of management thought (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  32. Zingales, L. (2015). Does finance benefit society? Journal of Finance, 70(4), 1327–1363.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations