Home > students, The Economics Profession > Michigan State students campaign for diversification

Michigan State students campaign for diversification

ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

FORTY-NINTH SESSION

G.A. 49-72

INTRODUCED BY: Nikolovksi SECONDED BY: Goheen

A BILL TO:

ADVOCATE FOR THE DIVERSIFICATION OF THE CURRICULUM WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS

THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ENACT:

WHEREAS, Since the recent global financial crisis, there has been a heightened debate within academic circles about the varying methods of analyzing economic phenomena. The department of Economics at MSU teaches from a single theoretical framework, widely known as the neoclassical school. This framework is only one perspective among several others which are not taught, and only gives one way of trying to understand our economy; and,

WHEREAS, Economists espousing other theoretical frameworks have given insights into important economic phenomena which have drastic implications for economic policy. Some important analyses include alternative empirical work that consistently explains the process of economic growth and—what is connected—warnings of the global financial crisis prior to its precipitation. These frameworks of thought use completely different methods and assumptions then those that are taught here at MSU; and,

WHEREAS, Students taking Economics within MSU are unlikely to be aware of the debates that go on, because the vast majority of what they do as “economics” is in the form of math problems which takes the assumptions and method of the neoclassical framework as given. Also, because students are often not explicitly made aware of the method and assumptions that underlie the mathematical formalism that they use, there is an appearance of diversity in the topics within the curriculum (e.g. international economics, microeconomics, and macroeconomics). Students should be made aware that there is a basic unity in the methods of neoclassical economics in analyzing these different topics; therefore be it,

RESOLVED, That MSU’s Economics department diversify its curriculum to allow students to engage not only with neoclassical work, but also competing frameworks so that they may be aware of the debates that are going on.

A first recommendation includes giving more explicit recognition of thev underlying method and assumptions of the frameworks that are taught, as well as engaging with the original works of the foundations of the

different schools of economics (e.g. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Alfred Marshall, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman.)

Secondly, working away from using mathematical formalism as an end in itself but recognizing it as a secondary tool, and also allowing for critical and reflective thought through paper writing and in-class debate is also highly recommended.

  1. Ed
    April 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm
  2. April 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Congratulation for all MSU Students is an excelent idea. I would like other students do the same

  3. robert r locke
    April 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Amen!

  4. Nell
    April 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Well done students. This request should be welcomed by their professors.

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