Working Paper 14/319 - abstract

An Economic Model of Learning Styles (PDF, 556kB)

Gervas Huxley and Mike Peacey

Much of the economic literature on education treats the actual process of learning as a `black box'. While these `black box' models have many interesting uses, they are of little use when a college seeks advice about reallocating resources from one input to another (e.g. from lecture hours to tutorials). Commenting on such questions requires us to `open up' the black box. In this paper, we show what one such model would look like by explicitly modelling how students vary in their `learning styles'. This model allows us to simulate how reforms to higher education would affect students with different learning styles. We consider alternative tuition fee structures and the technological change that has led to the introduction of massive open online courses (MOOCs).