Aaron Keathley

Meet Aaron Keathley, junior economics honors student publishing book 

Aaron Keathley is a junior in the economics and university honors programs. His book, "45 Conversations about Behavioral Economics: An Interdisciplinary Discussion Crossing Business, Public Policy, Sociology, and Psychology," is forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan. This book is co-authored with Dr. Li Way Lee, professor emeritus of economics. 

Why economics?

I chose economics because as a young child I witnessed my father lose his job during the 2008 recession, and I wanted to understand what was going on. I asked questions, and over the years I read information and watched movies to learn why. As I got older, my interests got more complex, but they almost always centered around the economy. Living near Detroit has provided me with lots of opportunities to ask questions about why things are the way they are. This continued as I became interested in politics and public policy.

Can you talk more about the book?

Yes, it is actually an interesting story. This book came as a result of the pandemic and the way classes had to be held online. In the fall of 2020, I took intermediate microeconomics with Dr. Lee, and I approached him to ask if he would be willing to work on a project with me to fulfill the directed study requirement for the honors college. He agreed and decided to tie it into the coursework. Due to the course being online, he made the class consist of responding with a one-page response to 45 essay prompts and readings for a variety of microeconomic topics. We held discussions on one person’s essay each week. For my project, Dr. Lee decided to comment on each of my essays, and I responded to his comments. Each prompt slowly became a conversation and hence the idea for the book was created.

What is your future plan? 

In the future, I would like to work either for a governmental agency like the Federal Reserve or in some sort of a public policy role. I have always loved Detroit and politics, and I would like to work in a way that I could contribute to the economic development of the city.