Thursday, 5 May 2011

MBAs and economics

Peter Klein raises an interesting issue with regard to the teaching in MBA degrees,
Mike Ryall on the MBA curriculum (via Josh Gans):

What is the logic for having world-class academic researchers (who, for the most part, have never managed a business themselves) teach business classes to MBA students? The topics covered in many first-year microeconomics MBA courses, for instance, are a subset of those contained in Section III of Economics for Dummies. There may be good reasons for someone to pay $3,000 for a class taught by a researcher that covers the same topics in this $12 book — greater clarity and/or depth, for instance — but still, at a 250:1 cost ratio, students had better be getting something more for their money. It’s not clear that they are.
This is a good question, and not just about microeconomics. It's a question for all subjects in the MBA. Having "world-class academic researchers" teach MBAs has another cost, the opportunity cost of the researcher. If this person spends their time working on MBA teaching they are not doing what they are "world-class" at: research. Is this really a good use of their time?

Another question I would ask is, What is economics doing in the MBA program in the first place? I don't see the justification for having it.

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