A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
From the two premises that (1) economies are complex systems and (2) the accumulation of knowledge about reality is desirable, I derive the conclusion that pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. To substantiate this claim an epistemological framework of how scholars study their objects of inquiry and relate their models to reality is discussed. Furthermore, it is argued that given the current institutions of our scientific system, economics self-organizes towards a state of scientific unity. Since such a state is epistemologically inferior to a state of plurality, critical intervention is desirable.
This paper starts with an evaluation of three common arguments against pluralism in economics: (1) the claim that economics is already pluralist, (2) the argument that if there was the need for greater plurality, it would emerge on its own, and (3) the assertion that pluralism means ‘anything goes’ and is thus unscientific. Pluralist responses to all three arguments are summarized. The third argument is identified to relate to a greater challenge for pluralism: an epistemological trade-off between diversity and consensus that suggests moving from a discussion about ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ towards a discussion about the adequate degree of plurality. We instantiate the trade-off by showing how it originates from two main challenges: the need to derive adequate quality criteria for a pluralist economics, and the necessity to propose strategies that ensure the communication across different research programs. The paper concludes with some strategies to meet these challenges.
The module is designed to first present some of the main schools of thought from a historical and methodological perspective. Each week we explore and critically assess the main tenants of each school of thought. In the second part of the module we link history of economic thought and methodology to a specific and contemporary economic question. The second part allows you to engage with current economic issues with an awareness of methodology and methodological differences and with some knowledge of the history of economics.
The global financial crisis (GFC) led to increasing distrust in economic research and the economics profession, in the process of which the current state of economics and economic education in particular were heavily criticized. Against this background we conducted a study with undergraduate students of economics in order to capture their view of economic education.
Neoclassical economics focuses on the allocation of scarce resources. Economic analysis is mainly concerned with determining the efficient allocation of resources in order to increase welfare.
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
Institutional economics focuses on the role of social institutions in terms of laws or contracts, but also those of social norms and patterns of human behaviour that are connected to the social organisation of production, distribution and consumption in the economy.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
The age of the contemplative economist-scholar—at home equally in classical languages, economic history, the history of ideas, and mathematical theory—has passed. The history of economics as a subdiscipline has lost touch with the mainstream study of economics. InThe Future of the History of Economics, internationally known scholars from ten countries provide a comparative assessment of the subdiscipline.
This course introduces students to political economy and the history of economic thought. We will cover the core ideas in various schools of economic thought, positioning them in the historical and institutional context in which they were developed. In particular, we will cover some economic ideas from the ancient world and the middle ages; the enlightenment; the emergence of and main ideas in classical political economy (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, and others); Marx, Mill, and Keynes; European versus American economic thought through history; the rise of mathematical economics; economic theories around state-managed economies versus socialism; Austrian economics; behavioral economics; and the future of economics.
At the time of his death in 1950, Joseph Schumpeter was working on his monumantal History of Economic Analysis. Unprecedented in scope, the book was to provide a complete history of economic theory from Ancient Greece to the end of the Second World War. A major contribution to the history of ideas as well as to economics, History of Economic Analysis rapidly gained a reputation as a unique and classic work.
Introduction Economics is by necessity a multi paradigmatic science Several theoretical structures exist side by side and each theory can never be more than a partial theory Rothschild 1999 Likening scientific work to the self coordinating invisible hand of the market Michael Polanyi cautioned strongly against centralized attempts to steer …
Stratification economics is defined as a systemic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality. Stratification economics integrates economics, sociology and social psychology to distinctively analyze inequality across groups that are socially differentiated, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, caste, sexuality, religion or any other social differentiation.
Blending past and present, this brief history of economics is the perfect book for introducing students to the field.A Brief History of Economics illustrates how the ideas of the great economists not only influenced societies but were themselves shaped by their cultural milieu. Understanding the economists' visions ? lucidly and vividly unveiled by Canterbery ?
The core idea of ecological economics is that human economic activity is bound by absolute limits. Interactions between the economy, society and the environment are analysed, while always keeping in mind the goal of a transition towards sustainability.
This panel discusses the role of mathematics and history in economics. Lord Robert Skidelsky and Dr. Ha-Joon Chang advocate for a more prominent role of history and a less prominent role of mathematics within economics. Prof. Steve Pisckhe and Prof. Francesco Caselli defend the dominant role of mathematics within economics. Each of the speakers gives a 10-15 minutes talk advocating his position, before the panel is opened up for Q&A. The discussion is moderated by Prof. James Foreman-Peck.
Complexity economics focuses on interactions and interdependencies between individuals and structures in economic systems. Those are systems of organised complexity. High importance is given to the analysis of networks.
The website contains a vast amount of information on the history of economic thought. It presents thinkers, their main works (and links to those works) and schools of thought which are sorted by political economy schools, neoclassical schools, alternative schools as well as thematic schools. „This web site concentrates information and resources on the history of economic thought, from the ancient times until the modern day. It is designed for students, researchers and the general public, who are interested in learning about economics from a historical perspective.“
In this radio program, the anthropologist David Graeber, explores the history of debt in (currently) 12 episodes. The program is based on his book Debt: The First 5000 Years. First, Graeber asks the questions of how debt and money are characterized, which meaning and roles they had in different historic episodes and how they were interrelated. In the most recent episodes, Graeber elaborates on how debt shaped society. He argues that debt had a different moral status in different times of history, one session analyses the current financial and economic crisis and the role of credit in this historical context.
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "Understanding Economic Models" at the University of Helsinki.
In this tenth lecture in INET’s “How and How Not to Do Economics,” Robert Skidelsky argues that there are two main reasons why economists should study history.
In this one-on-one interview, co-host Gerardo Serra talks with Felwine Sarr, author of Afrotopia (2016) and professor of economics at Gaston Berger University in Senegal. Topics include the relevance (or lack thereof) of development economics to conditions in African economies, the significance of African philosophy for thinking about the economic problems of the continent, and the status of the field of history of economic thought in Africa.
In this lecture, Beatrice Cherrier explains why it is worth to research the history of JEL codes. The changing relationship between theory and application and the rise and death of new economic topics in the XXth century through the successive revisions of the classification system economists use to publish, recruit and navigate their discipline.
Challenging the Mainstream in the Twentieth Century Economics is a contested academic discipline between neoclassical economics and a collection of alternative approaches such as Marxism radical economics Institutional economics Post Keynesian economics and others that can collectively be called heterodox economics Because of the dominance of neoclassical economics the existence …
This book is a collection of articles on topics and individuals within the history of heterodox economic thought, approached from a heterodox perspective. The principal topics are the nature and scope of economics as an intellectual venture.
This course will cover recent contributions in economic history that, using geospatial data from anthropological maps, colonial archives and secondary sources, will explore current economic and development challenges by drawing parallels between the past and present.
Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis, Volume 1: Great Economists since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by two of the foremost academics in the field, the volumes comprise insightful and original contributions from scholars across the world. The encyclopaedic breadth and scope of the original entries will make these reference books an invaluable source of knowledge for all serious students and scholars of the history of economic thought.
As seen with the United Nations significant promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the past few years, the issue of global development is of growing concern to many international organizations. As humanity continues to become more interconnected through globalization, the inequalities and injustices experienced by inhabitants of impacted countries becomes increasingly clear. While this issue can be observed in the papers of different types (e.g., different schools of thought) of economists throughout the world, the work of behavioral and complexity economists offer a unique, collaborative perspective on how to frame decisions for individuals in a way that can positively reverberate throughout society and throughout time.
This chapter discusses the role of gender in economic relations, processes, and outcomes. Gender differences in economic outcomes such as labor force participation and wages have received growing attention from economists in the last several decades – a positive and much needed development in economic thinking.
This article introduces the series, “Reclaiming Africa’s Early Post- Independence History,'' from Post-Colonialisms Today. It explores the policies and thinking of African governments in the early post-independence period, and the lessons for today’s struggles for political and economic agency on the continent.