hetero, post keynesian
theguardian 3-2023 ‘Our staff members are social activists’: the university with a critical approach to economics
Economist and best-selling author Ha-Joon Chang says that students at Soas University of London are encouraged to look at the failures of capitalism
Introduction to critical political economy in a multi-paradigmatic setting – By Johannes Jäger
Book – Principles and Pluralist Approaches in Teaching Economics
blogs.lse.ac.uk 6/2020 What decolonising economics means for someone who read economics in India by Tirthankar Roy
“The mismatch between the real world and the toolbox of economics has long troubled those who taught the subject in the developing world. I studied economics in a small university in India in the 1970s. The economics I studied had a split down the middle: “theory” was taught with American textbooks and “Indian economics” taught mainly with Indian government reports. There was not even a pretence of fitting theory with practice. Anyone could see that this was a sham. Theory did not ask the questions that those in charge of the economy thought needed answering.
Thinking people tried to reform this absurd system of education. One such set of reformers established the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Kerala, where I did my doctorate. CDS designed pre-PhD economics coursework which exposed the students to many types of theory in tiny modules. The message was, since there is no one right economics, you should know different economics, orthodox and heterodox; but only in small doses, for at the end of the journey, there is no reassurance that the right tool to solve a practical problem can be found in this clutter. Why invest time then?
Where did that leave research? Since the toolbox is a jumble, research cannot be an application of tools learned at school. Research is explaining an observation. Economic theory may have the tool to explain the observation; or it may not. The research programme, therefore, must be fieldwork-based, and the choice of tools interdisciplinary. CDS did not call this message “decolonisation.” But seeing how America-dependent our economics was, the experiment could be called that.
With hindsight, I believe CDS failed on teaching. Theory is a language. One needs to know it well to be able to use it at all. Knowing anything well does not happen in bite-size pieces. Besides, varieties within economics are not just different types, but products of internal criticism. A knowledge of heterodoxy does not develop without a solid base in orthodoxy. In teaching theory, any attempt to experiment is potentially a waste of time.
With hindsight, I believe CDS succeeded on research. Answering real-world economic questions is not application of the tools one has learned in school. Research and practice start from a study of people, not a study of calculus.
To be bound by a language of discourse is slavery for the scholar and the practical economist. The current worldwide movement to reform economics shows the truth of that statement.
Note: This blogpost is a version of a talk Tirthankar Roy was invited to deliver at Decolonising and Diversifying Economics and Economic History, an event held at the LSE on 20 February 2020 organised by the LSE Eden Centre, LSE Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity and Decolonising LSE Collective.
economist.com 20/3/20121 Efforts to modernise economics teaching are gathering steam – The hope is that it will help diversify the profession – Economists are keen fans of dynamism, but there are too few signs of it in economics teaching. A survey of American lecturers last year found that their methods, which rely on lectures and assigned textbook reading, had barely changed in 25 years. Textbooks themselves can lag behind the practice of economics. A study by Jane Ihrig of the Federal Reserve Board and Scott Wolla of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis found that at least three of six leading texts published since the start of 2020 misrepresented monetary policy. They say the Fed sets short-term interest rates by buying and selling securities. But since 2008 the central bank has changed the rate it pays on banks’ reserves instead. Students say that inequality is the most pressing economic problem of the day, according to a paper by Samuel Bowles of the Santa Fe Institute and Wendy Carlin of University College, London. But in many textbooks, they argue, the topic is merely appended to the core curriculum.
gaiageld/macro 2017 33-theses-for-an-economic-reformation – 33thesesPDF , articles, comments
gaiageld/macro 2016 The Reformation in Economics : A Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Economic Theory by Philip Pilkington – REVIEW ESSAY by Marc Morgan The plurality of thought that existed in economics from roughly the turn of the twentieth century to the 1960s was impressive and rather beautiful to behold. Reading books from that era not only gives the reader a vision of what economics had been and what it could potentially be again but also opens doors to so many novel ways of thinking about things.
This is a great book. Against the background of the dogmatism of much of modern economics, Edward Fullbrook has produced an innovative and wide-ranging argument for narrative pluralism. The timely book is beautifully written, accessible to all, provocative, extraordinarily insightful, and extremely compelling. Tony Lawson, Cambridge University, UK
This fascinating and profound work should be read by all economists, and by anyone who is taken in by mainstream economics’ false claims of scientific objectivity. Fullbrook’s erudite, systematic and thoughtful investigation into the philosophical and conceptual bases of the “singular narrative” exposes the limitations of neoclassical economics and its degenerate practice, and provides a powerful critique of different models of economic rationality. Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
The complex economic problems of the 21st century require a pluralist, real-world oriented and innovative discipline of economics that is capable of addressing and teaching these issues to students. This volume is a state-of-the-art compilation of
diverse, innovative and international perspectives on the rationales for and pathways towards pluralist economics teaching. It fosters constructive controversy aiming to incite authors and commentators to engage in fruitful debates.
This volume addresses a number of key questions: Why is it important for a social science to engage in pluralistic teaching? What issues does pluralist teaching face in different national contexts? Which traditions and practices in economic teaching make pluralist teaching difficult? What makes economics as a canonical textbook science particular and how could the rigid textbook system be innovated in a meaningful way? What can we learn from school education and other social science disciplines?
Through examining these issues the editors have created a pluralist but cohesive book on teaching economics in the contemporary classroom drawing from ideas and examples from around the world. Advancing Pluralism in Teaching Economics offers a valuable insight into the methodology and application of pluralist economics teaching. It will be a great resource for those teaching economics at various levels, as well as researchers. read or download PDF here
Int. J. Pluralism and Economics Education 2017 Why economics needs its own reformation: 95 theses by Jack Reardon
Introducing a New Economics: Pluralist, Sustainable and Progressive: Pluralist, Sustainable and Progressive
by Jack Reardon, Maria Alejandra Caporale Madi, Molly Cato
Economics is too important to be left to the economists.
Jim Stanford’s Economics for Everyone has quickly become a standard reference for economics literacy and popular education. Now published in 6 languages, the book is used in higher education, trade unions, and community education initiatives around the world. This new second edition has been completely revised and updated, with new statistics, cartoons, and anecdotes. The book also includes several all-new chapters – on inequality, on racism and discrimination, and on the lasting consequences of the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
William Lazonick : “… when most economists think of investments in the economy, they think of finance and what they call “capital flows” in the market. Through financial markets, money is supposed to flow to where it is needed. But that’s not the way things actually work! … ”
voxeu.org 2017 CORE – A new paradigm for the introductory course in economics Samuel Bowles, Wendy Carlin
Our intro courses fail to reflect the dramatic advances in economics – concerning information problems and strategic interactions, for example – since Samuelson’s paradigm-setting 1948 textbook. Missing, too, is any sustained engagement with new problems we now confront and on which economics has important insights for public policy – climate change, innovation, instability and growing inequality amongst them. …
The contributions of Keynes, Hayek, and Nash – aggregate demand, the central economic role of limited information, and strategic interactions modelled by game theory – were extended by many others and have become foundations of economic thinking. Before the end of the 20th century, all three innovations had become standard postgraduate economic instruction, as a quick glance at the tables of contents of leading texts (Mas-Colell et al. 1995, Romer 1996) would show.
What economists know, and what students get : Things are radically different at the undergraduate level. The Samuelsonian paradigm is basically Marshall plus Keynes, and this remains the basic content of the dominant textbooks today. Asymmetric and local information, and strategic social interactions modelled by game theory are mentioned, if at all, at the end of the introductory course, or as special topics,. (Von Neumann had commented – surely ungenerously – about Samuelson that “…even in 30 years he won’t absorb game theory”.)
Understandably, students think information problems and strategic interaction are simply refinements of the standard model, rather than challenges to two of its foundations – price-taking as the benchmark for competitive behaviour, and complete contracts (and hence market clearing in competitive equilibrium) made possible by complete information. CORE’s introductory text, The Economy, attempts to do for information economics and strategic social interaction what Samuelson did for aggregate demand. …”
Macroeconomics Redefined 2015 by Philip George
This book resolves the central issues that have vexed and divided economists over the past eighty or so years. It explains
1. That the Keynesian way of viewing the economy through the lens of aggregate demand and the monetarist way of viewing the economy through the lens of money amount to the same thing.
2. Why recoveries from recessions that follow massive asset market crashes are necessarily long-drawn affairs.
3. Why holding the interest rate very low for an extended period has very little effect on the recovery.
4. Why fiscal spending has very little effect on the recovery.
5. Why productivity growth has been so low after the recession.
6. That the Keynesian multiplier during a recession is negative.
7. Why the Japanese recession is fundamentally different from the US Great Recession.
The book lays out a way of accurately measuring money supply. It disproves the money multiplier theory and explains how money is endogenously created. It shows that changes in the velocity of money have nothing to do with the speed at which money moves from economic entity to economic entity and are entirely the result of movements of dollars between demand deposits and other kinds of deposit. Finally it shows what central banks really need to do to prevent recessions.
philosophy, sociology + history of economics
https://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2019/Boudreauxecon101.html How Should Econ 101 Be Taught? By Donald J. Boudreaux
Harvard Economics wunderkind Raj Chetty … wants there to be more analysis of data and less attention to economic theory. As described by Dylan Matthews writing for Vox, “If Chetty is an advocate for anything, it’s for the notion that economics is an empirical discipline, a science just as much as, say, medicine is.” Chetty … clearly believes that this (mainstream) theory is overrated, overemphasized, and overused relative to analyses of empirical data. To help remedy this perceived problem, Chetty developed and teaches a new undergraduate course at Harvard: “Economics 1152: Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems.” … Heady stuff for undergraduates! Yet it’s very bad stuff both for economic education and public policy. The notion that data can be sensibly analyzed independently of theory is naïve, as is the related notion that students can learn an adequate amount of sound theory through the analysis of data.
wsj.com 27/01/2021 How Economics Lost Itself in Data – Today’s researchers have tossed out price theory and don’t realize they’ve been politically compromised. Alexander William Salter
William Allen, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles died Jan. 15 at 96. Few noted it, but Allen’s death was momentous. It represented a generational shift in the economics profession, one that bodes ill for economists and the public. Allen truly believed in economics—something that is hard to say about most economists these days.
Allen was among the last of a generation of economists who were masters of their craft. He wrote, along with his friend and colleague Armen Alchian, an excellent economics textbook that conveys the power and potential of the economic way of thinking: Despite the complexities of markets, economists can get at the heart of how they work by focusing on prices. This insight is so important, it gives economists’ core tool kit a name: price theory. Nobody can be an economist who is unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using this tool kit.
Yet by this standard, there are not many economists left. Professional economists are abandoning price theory in droves. The new status quo has upended the field. Economics is increasingly less scientific and more susceptible to political influence.
The absence of price theory in today’s economic research would have befuddled the great economists of the past. Contrary to the field’s naysayers, the golden age of 20th-century price theory was never about “neoliberalism” or “market fundamentalism.” Instead, it applied to markets a simple yet brilliant framework that revealed the hidden ways market prices—exchange ratios between goods—facilitated an extraordinary amount of economic coordination. It also showed why many (but not all) restrictions on price adjustments, such as rent controls, resulted in costly and unproductive secondary effects. This was all a part of a broad explanatory project. While individual economists had their policy preferences, the economic way of thinking was above politics.
For years, economics has been getting less theoretical and more empirical. Economists are spending less time building and thinking through simple models, and more time collecting and analyzing data. The “identification revolution” in economics raised the payoff, in the form of elite publications, to finding good data from quasiexperimental settings and conducting advanced statistical analyses. Better empirical work should certainly be applauded. But it came at a cost: an entire cohort of economists with serious theoretical blind spots.
static1.squarespace.com pdf 2018? The Binding Force of Economics Colin Harris Andrew Myers Christienne Briol Sam Carlen
Abstract : A discipline is bound by some combination of a shared subject matter, shared theory, and shared techniques. Yet modern economics is seemingly without limitation to its domain. As a discipline without a shared subject matter, what is the binding force of economics today? We use a topic modeling approach to analyze the prevalence of different approaches to inquiry within economics. We find that economics has become increasingly defined by its common empirical techniques rather than its common theory. We question whether this trajectory is stable as the main binding force of economics as a discipline.
article : Does Macroeconomics Need Microfoundations? 2007 Kevin Douglas Hoover – The representative-agent in macroeconomics analyzes the gas as if there is one big molecule subject to the law that governs real molecules. Are only acceptable macroeconomic models those with adequate microfoundations?