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 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.
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
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.
This collection of previously published and new papers is a major intervention in the on-going debate about the nature and future of economics. Instead of the present deductivist-formalist orientation of mainstream economics, Lars Syll advocates for the adoption of a more pluralist approach to economics, arguing for more realism and relevance with less insistence on mathematical modeling.
Since Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Price in Economic Sciences in 2002, a new branch of economics gained academic and popular interest. That is, the so-called area of behavioural economics. However, some scholars claim that this new area of economics is not changing much of the mainstream paradigm. Why?
How to promote alternative macroeconomic ideas: Are there limits to running with the (mainstream) pack?
The first keynote speech was given by Sebastian Dullien, current spokesperson of FMM and who is one of the most well-known German economists in applied European economics and a very active contributor to the pluralist debate. Sebastian discusses the strategy of “running with the pack” by using orthodox methods to disseminate pluralist economics and politics. Referring to diverse examples Sebastian addresses the pros and cons of “running with the pack” and proposes alternative approaches to achieve more pluralism in economics.
Keen first compares neoclassical approaches to modelling with heterodox ones. Then he discusses in length the required assumptions and the inconsistencies of the aggregate demand and supply model, which is extrapolated from a micro perspective. At the end some dynamic models with feedback mechanisms are shown.
This lecture was held in the context of the a two day conference called Which pluralism for thinking about how to achieve a more sustainable and resilient economy The practices institutions and system logics of today s economy are not suitable for appropriately addressing fundamental human needs The climate crisis …
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.
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.
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.
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "Understanding Economic Models" at the University of Helsinki.
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.
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.
Along with addressing core conceptual issues in defining heterodox economics, we will cover in some detail five heterodox traditions in economics: Marxian Economics, Institutional Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics, Feminist Economics, and Ecologi-cal Economics. In the first class meeting, we discuss the structure and goals of the course, as well as the expectations and requirements from the students. In addition, we will discuss the concept of heterodoxy in economics, along with discussing the concepts and key issues in mainstream and neoclassical economics.
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 12-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This essay will explore ecological economics as an alternative lens through which to approach forest conservation and the acceleration of climate change.
Evolutionary economics focuses on economic change. Hence processes of change such as growth, innovation, structural and technological change, as well as economic development in general are analysed. Evolutionary economics often gives emphasis to populations and (sub-)systems.
The article pursues the two related questions of how economists pretend to know and why they want to know at all. It is argued that both the economic form of knowledge and the motivation of knowing have undergone a fundamental change during the course of the 20th century. The knowledge of important contemporary economic textbooks has little in common with an objective, decidedly scientifically motivated knowledge. Rather, their contents and forms follow a productive end, aiming at the subjectivity of their readers.
Steve Keen analyses how mainstream economics fails when confronted with the covid-19-pandemic. Mainstream economics has propagated the dismantling of the state and the globalization of production - both of which make the crisis now so devastating. More fundamentally, mainstream economics deals with market systems, when what is needed to limit the virus’s spread is a command system.
One hundred years ago the idea of 'the economy' didn't exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.