Amy Finkelstein

Amy Finkelstein

Friday, December 7, 2012

Some Final Thoughts

To get down to it, this course was truly a breath of fresh air. Up until this point in my economics career at the U of I, many of the core courses- while rich in theory- had not necessarily tapped into economics on a scale of reality in tune with 20-something college students. Your personal insight into your experiences in management offer no only fascinating but tangible examples of organizational economics in action. The marriage of theory and "teaching-by-experience" was rather enlightening. In addition blogging about concepts in organizational economics as it applied in our own experiences was an approach to economics I had never considered. Understanding and applying moral hazard, triangular principal-agent relationship, and reputation in the context of my own life has been a miniature introspective journey, and has taught me to consider economics in an entirely different light.

One particularly challenging aspect of the course was the use of insurance models. This has been my first exposure to insurance models in general, as well as in to context of adverse selection and screening. It was definitely a grind pushing through the excel homework and come test time, my ability to apply insurance concepts in an alternative format proved fatal. In the future, more step by step modeling of insurance would be incredibly helpful as well as exposure to models such as this in different formats that a student may encounter on an exam.
 Although on a more triumphant note, this course has
exposed me to a wealth of economic models, such as insurance that I had yet to work through and understand.  It has been a slow and arduous process, trying to fully wrap my mind around the mathematical models and to have the ability to describe their implications, but I have strengthened those skills immensely since day one- and that is progress worthy of noting. For posterity may be to their advantage to provide a breakdown of models; for example, as in the bargaining model, to have a chart of sample scenarios and their possible outcomes to enable students to better understand mechanism in which buyers would be better off to lie or report truthfully.

This class has definitely been one of the most unique, structurally speaking, but this is all for the better. Your approach to instruction is remarkable, and without a doubt created an open and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom, this you should never lose. I find that your teaching persona truly reflects your respect for students as well as sets a standard of performance for the class that is really based on individual effort and performance. Mirroring organization models discussed in the course, the lasting benefits a student will derive from this course comes from their individual effort and their dedication to participate, complete assignments and engage themselves fully- and isn’t this how the real world works?

1 comment:

  1. Was it your intent to center align this post rather than left align? From a bit of a distance it makes the post look like a Christmas tree. If it was an accident, at least it fits in with the season.

    The conclusion of the firs paragraph speaks to a personal transformation in you. From my perch that's hard to see. Perhaps the course did raise awareness in thinking about economics differently. I wonder what you'll do with that from here on out.

    Thanks for what you said in the last paragraph (though I urge you to not use the word "unique" as a comparative, since it isn't). At a minimum, I tried to do what you said in the last period. Truthfully, I don't think I got the class as involved with this as is desirable. During our review on Wednesday we might discuss how to do this.

    I know you struggled with the math. I appreciate your patience seeing it through, though I'm a bit baffled why you weren't more exposed to these ideas more ahead of time.