International Review of Economics Education vol:16 pages:111-121
In mathematics education, a vast amount of research has shown that students tend to rely on linearity insituations that are not linear at all.
Several researchers in economics and economics education acknowledge people’s overreliance on linearity as a potential source of misperception of economic phenomena, but within these fields this tendency has never been studied empirically in a systematic way.
This paper is a first attempt to fill this gap in the research literature. The paper consists of two main parts. First, we provide an overview of instances of, and comments on, people’s overreliance on linearity in the economics (education) literature. Second, we present an empirical study with business economics students who were
confronted with correct and incorrect linear statements about micro- and macro economic situations. Our results show that even tertiary level students overrely on linearity when analyzing such statements. We also find that this phenomenon is affected by the economic domain and by the way statements are formulated.