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This syllabus was originally taught at Vienna University of Economics and Business Winter Semester 2019/20
This course introduces students to core themes in heterodox 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 Ecological 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.
Each of the following five units is dedicated to one specific heterodox approach. For each of the five approaches, we will discuss the core theory and ideas of the approach. Moreover, for each approach, we will discuss how this particular school of thought approaches or understands economic inequality. During these discussions, students are encouraged to compare each heterodox approach with the others, as well as with the contemporary mainstream.
By the end of the semester, students should have a clear idea about what heterodox economics is, as well as deeper knowledge on the five schools of thought we will cover in this course. They should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of all discussed schools of thought, as well as those of contemporary mainstream economics.
Following the approach by Economy Studies, we categorize our Syllabi acoording to 10 different bulding blocks.
Attendance and participation are a very important part of the class – 40% of the grade. Students are thus strongly encouraged to come to class prepared (having read both papers for the week) and ready to discuss them. You may miss one class without penalty, but each additional class missed will result in the loss of ten points.
There are three portions to students’ grades: class participation (40%), a group presentation (20%), and an individual or group paper (you get to choose!) (40%).
Each week, there will be a group presentation. The group is responsible for giving a brief (maximum five minute, total) overview of both readings for the day. For the remaining 25 minutes, the group will discuss what is “heterodox” about the school of thought they are covering, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the school of thought, and suggest and explain a research question what would be better answered with this school of thought than with neoclassical approaches and tools. The group should plan to build some group discussion into their presentation! The presentation should be more of a “teaching session” than a presentation. Therefore: be creative in how you communicate what you want everyone in the class to learn!
At the end of the semester, students will write a final paper, either alone, or in groups of up to three people. In this paper, you should answer the following questions:
Final papers should absolutely draw upon the literature assigned in the class, as well as students’ own experiences in economics thus far and any additional readings they would find useful. Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font, 12-15 pages long. Papers should use correct citation for academic literature, including a full bibliography.
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