Title: Unscripted economics in an industrial community

Authors: Marie Christine Duggan

Addresses: Department of Economics, Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene, New Hampshire, USA

Abstract: One third of US manufacturing jobs disappeared between 2001 and 2009 and the conventional explanations (low wages overseas, robots taking over) do not apply to the capital goods producers in Keene, New Hampshire, where the author teaches. Local firms compete with high wage counterparts and firms using robots hire people as well. De/reindustrialisation ascertains the cause(s) of industrial contraction – or success. Students visit plants in the local industrial base and conduct oral history interviews, analyse annual reports and apply specific concepts of economic theory. The course is interdisciplinary, involves undergraduate research and civic engagement and uses open education assignments. Unscripted learning has proved the great motivator, as students navigate their oral history interviews and the community presentation. The course succeeds in motivating students and it serves the community, conveys research skills and pushes the teacher to take economic theory in practical directions.

Keywords: undergraduate research; open education; economics; community engagement; service-learning; deindustrialisation; unscripted learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2019.104872

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2019 Vol.10 No.3, pp.239 - 257

Accepted: 28 Oct 2018
Published online: 03 Feb 2020 *

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