Debates are widely used in other disciplines, such as political sciences, business, and psychology. Classroom debates can also benefit economics students.


Pernecky (1997) and Vo and Morris (2006) describe debate formats adapted for economics instruction. They used these formats for various topics, including farm subsidies, affirmative action, and monetary policy. Wolla (2018) provides a lesson plan for covering minimum wage that includes a classroom debate.


Treme (2018)  recommends using "speed rounds" to engage more students during debates. Typically, "speed rounds" limit a participate to a short argument in the debate (20 seconds, or 1 sentence), and allow for more students to speak and participate in the exercise.

The Economics Instructor's Toolbox

Enhance Your Students Learning Experience

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The Economics Instructor's Toolbox was originally published in International Review of Economics Education

Picault, J. (2019), The Economics Instructor’s Toolbox, International Review of Economics Education 30,100154.