Why would students be biased about macroeconomic data?
Students are probably biased about the data because it really is worse for them in their local area of knowledge.
When a college student learns about something like the unemployment rate, their reference set is probably their family’s household. But, there are 3 reasons why that family is likely to be worse off than the typical American household.
- he families of students often include younger people who are more likely to be unemployed because they have less stable employment histories, fewer skills, less interest in actively participating in the labor force, and perhaps even unrealistic expectations of their own worth.
- If a student has a sibling that’s unemployed, it’s likely that they may have moved back home.
- If you’re unemployed yourself, it’s likely that you may have gone back to school.
I’ve actually calculated the unemployment rate for the families of students in my principles classes, and it is often several points higher than the local average.
And why might this make a macroeconomics class harder? Well … it can’t be easy to take a class in which you are taught something that is not representative of your personal experience.