Occupy Introductory Economics

About 70 students at Harvard walked out of class last week to join the Occupy movement and protest against Greg Mankiw, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, and a professor of economics at the school.

According to an article by Jose Delreal at The Harvard Crimson:

Nearly 70 Harvard student protesters walked out of Economics 10 on Wednesday afternoon, expressing dissatisfaction with what they perceive to be an overly conservative bias in the course.

“Today, we are walking out of your class, Economics 10, in order to express our discontent with the bias inherent in this introductory economics course. We are deeply concerned about the way that this bias affects students, the University, and our greater society,” read a statement issued by the organizers.

Economics 10—more commonly referred to as “Ec 10”—is taught by professor N. Gregory Mankiw, and has the highest enrollment of any course at the College, boasting over 700 enrollees.

Here’s a video of the walkout:

Mankiw, of course, has every right to be just as conservative as he wishes in the courses he teaches. Some students, however, question if there’s really much of a conservative bias in his macroeconomics course at all.

Student Jeremy Patashnik told Delreal that he didn’t “see the conservative bias. This class is not attempting to give normative answers about how to address social issues. It’s meant to introduce students to economics as a social science.”

View the open letter students wrote to Mankiw here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer