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Storytelling in Economics

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Storytelling in Economics was well written in the sense that it addresses the problem very thoroughly and also gives us some great solutions to the problem. First the writer talks about what the use of stories is. He says that stories are a sort of knowledge that we cannot live without. Stories make facts easier to understand because they allow the reader to become more engaged in the text, it gives them something to have a mental picture of while they read. Instead of just throwing out facts which are not the best of motivators for people to read on, writers need to be more conscious of their readers and make sure that the readers have something to make the story interesting to them.

The writer thinks that storytelling in economics is widely underused. The reason for that is because economics want to consider themselves scientists, and in sciences there is no use for stories, just facts. But the truth is that economics along with all sciences cannot actually predict the future. But they can be more like historians who look at the past and then present stories about what they think will happen based off of that past. I thought that was the best point he made in the article. That economics need to realize that they cannot and never will be able to predict the future, so instead they need to find another way to get people’s attention, to show people what the best economic theories are through the past and through storytelling.

The article presents a simple but powerful example of how storytelling can be effective in economics. The government was trying to pass a bill to help the workers make more money, and have the companies as a whole make a little less money. There were facts and figures that an economist could present to show that based off of what the bill said the people would end up just being worse off  than before. But instead you could tell a story about a company that was forced with the higher wages to fire more employees or to only look for more skilled employees because of the higher wages. The power of a story and about tapping into people’s emotions and motivations is much more powerful than facts and figures. There is obviously a fine line between a story and using a story to present false or exaggerated information. But either way I feel as if storytelling in economics is important and should be further investigated.

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