Avi J. Cohen
Avi J. Cohen is University Professor of Economics at York University and at the University of Toronto. He has a PhD in Economics from Stanford University; a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan; is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; is past President of the History of Economics Society; and a former Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. His research interests are in the history of economics, economic education, and economic history. He has published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Education, History of Political Economy, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic History, and Explorations in Economic History, among other journals and books.
He was a pioneer in integration of writing into Economics courses. A 1991 AEA-commissioned report on “The Status and Prospects of the Economics Major” introduced the importance for Economics of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement. The Journal of Economic Education followed with a 1993 mini-symposium on writing, which included his first collaboration with a writing instructor (Cohen and Spencer 1993). A recent collaboration, integrating abstract and op-ed writing assignments into a face-to-face principles course with 500 students, and an online course with 400 students, also appears in the JEE (Cohen and Williams 2019).
He is a long-time creator of educational materials, starting in 1992 and continuing through eight editions of Study Guides for the Parkin and Bade introductory Economics textbooks. His Micro/Macro Economics for Life textbooks are entering their third edition in Canada. He has also written Micro and Macro FlexTexts: concise, print-only, classroom resources — “Coles Notes with knowledge checks, practice problems, and applications for employability skills” — for the Canadian post-secondary market.
Avi was an early adopter of technologies. After a 2003 visit to the University of Central Florida (award-winning pioneers in online and blended learning) he created a UCF-like 10-week faculty development course call do TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning), training instructors interested in transforming traditional courses into blended and online formats.
Professor Cohen is the winner of numerous teaching awards, including the 3M Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s most prestigious national award for educational leadership.