Experiential Learning Based Discussion Vs. Lecture Based Discussion: How To Estimate The Unemployment Rate


  • Inhyuck Ha
  • Jessica Hollars Wisniewski


This pedagogical method to estimate the unemployment rate is appropriate for an undergraduate course in macroeconomics. Class instructors can use the experiment to make many macroeconomic principles readily apparent to the unskilled reader. This experiment examines the dynamics of calculating the unemployment rate by means of an assessment instrument. Students can learn that the unemployment rate is calculated using estimates of the size of the labor force, which includes individuals who are both employed and unemployed. In addition, they discover that their estimated unemployment rate agrees with the estimates made by leading economic indices. Thus, by participating in the experiment, students better understand how to calculate the unemployment rate and how to understand published unemployment estimates. 


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