Economics Pluralism and student protests

Economics is growing pluralist again. Student protests since about 2013 are growing, furthering this trend. Professors have joined in (not all of them, of course). Economists of different methods and historical and theoretical approaches are acknowledging the importance of co-existence. Some have argued that co-existencefor alternative ecnomics with the mainstream is difficult for theories with such different epistemological and philosophical foundations.

 

The letter to Prof. Greg Mankiw at Harvard University and a staged walkout from his class some years ago was symptomatic of the malaise affecting economics students. They were convinced of the irrelevance (some argue the hubris of their professors) who ignored, sidelined, or incorrectly explained, even censored, wider academic discussion of the state of economics as a disciplline. Many student protests were about the narrowness of the curriculum, and its outdated readings and assignments, out of touch with the latest thinking in critical areas such of financial economics, technological change, ecological economics, feminist economics, and other areas. The Post-Crash Economics Society at the University of Manchester for instance, has constructively generated a Report "Economics, Education and Unlearning: Economics Education at the University of Manchester".

TCLab's focus on technological change covers the shifts in the discipline alongside. After all, technological change represents perhaps the fast growing area of an alternative economics. It has generated scholarship critical of a mainstream that has attempted to explain away complex, dynamic growth phenomena in simplistic terms of statics and equilibrium. Mainstream economics has for the most part also had poor attention to actual economic phenomena of technological change in industries, firms, and in learning.