Posts Tagged ‘students’

A critique of Samuelson’s and Nordhaus’s Principles of Economics

August 25, 2015 2 comments

Econ 101 textbooks are misleading more than a million students a year in the U.S. alone because they leave the lasting impression that markets could solve all our economic problems if only they were left to themselves. Not even the horrendous sub-prime mortgage-crisis bailout in 2008 and 2009, amounting to trillions of dollars, shook the professions’ faith that the markets know best. They continue to invoke the “invisible hand” metaphor coined by Adam Smith in 1776, without conceding that the global economy has undergone several revolutions and changed profoundly during the intervening centuries. Outdated metaphors will not help but only hinder any effort to understand where we have gone wrong, and why, and what to do about it.  

Happily, some students are beginning to see the disconnect between the idealized, theoretical version of economics thought on blackboards and its real-world variant. That is exactly why students walked out of Gregory Mankiw’s Principles of Economics (Econ 10) class at Harvard in 2011,1 and provided him a written explanation for this symbolic gesture:   Read more…

University of Greenwich shows the way!

January 15, 2015 4 comments

from Lars Syll

The last seven years have not been easy for the global economy as well as the teaching of economics. The recent financial crisis and the Great Recession have led many economists, non-economists and students in economics to question the state of the discipline, wondering to what extent it provides the necessary tools to interpret the complex world we live in, signalling a deep dissatisfaction with economists’ ability to provide solutions to real world problems. Employers have recognised that the economics graduates that the standard curriculum generates are not equipped with the skills that the real world requires. Likewise, students themselves have recognised that the tools and theories they learn don’t enable them to make sense of the world they live in, let alone to address and solve real world problems …

The reason the revalidation of the economics programmes at the University of Greenwich is special is that it constitutes one of the first institutional responses to current pressures from students, faculty, employers and policy makers to produce more ‘world-ready’ graduates. In redesigning our economics programmes we – the economics programmes team – have decided to:  Read more…

Economics students revolt against being force-fed with neoclassical mumbo jumbo

November 6, 2013 2 comments

from Lars Syll

Rethinking econ_0

The world has changed, the syllabus hasn’t – is it time to do something about it?

Rethinking Economics is a network of young economics students, thinkers and writers who are organising to create fresh economic narratives to challenge and enrich the predominant neoclassical narrative. Read more…

Doctor X, “pure shit” and the Royal Society’s motto

from Edward Fullbrook

Recently at a large party I found myself sitting next to a very likable young middle-aged academic tenured at an elite British university, whom henceforth I will refer to as Doctor X and whose field is closely associated with this blog.

Doctor X was unfamiliar with both the Real-World Economics Review and the World Economics Association.  But when I described the purposes of the latter, in particular the fostering of a professional ethos that prioritized the advancement of knowledge rather than the preservation of orthodoxies and the promotion of vested interests, there was an instantaneous recognition of a central relevance to his/her intellectual and career situation.

“Every year I publish papers in the top journals and they’re pure shit.”  Doctor X, who by now had had a glass or two, felt bad about this, not least because “students these days are so idealistic and eager to learn; they’re really wonderful.”  Furthermore Doctor X could and would like “to write serious papers but what would be the point?”

I then listened to an explanation of Doctor X’s predicament that went roughly like this. Read more…

International College Comparisons

April 13, 2012 4 comments

from John Schmitt

Paul Krugman has reproduced an OECD chart that was featured in a recent post by Jared Bernstein. The graph of interest (below) contrasts the share of older and younger people in OECD countries that have the equivalent of a four-year college degree or more.

Tertiary education, by age and country, OECD

Source: OECD via Jared Bernstein. Read more…

Oz and Paul

December 15, 2009 3 comments

Dear Prof. Davidson,

My name is Oz Gore and I’m a first-year economics graduate student living in Israel. My B.A was in PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics), an interdisciplinary program at Hebrew U.

As part of the program we were required to write a personal paper on a topic of our choosing and I chose Keynes. Working on my paper I came across your work and was greatly inspired. Feeling that mainstream economics is extremely narrow, I was contemplating a lot on what kind of graduate studies to pursue. Reading your work made me realize that economics can (and should) be a subject of deep philosophical discussion and that some schools of thought treat it hands-on as oppose to the way I was taught (which is to wear mathematical gloves each time I want to study the world).

So, I began my graduate studies at the Hebrew U hoping that I would acquire tools that will help me understand the world better, and hopefully enable me to say something positive about it. However, Read more…

Student protests against the effects of the economic collapse are spreading

November 25, 2009 3 comments

A wave of student protests, reminiscent of the 1960s, has swept across California’s university system.  Students have wagged, teach-ins, class walkouts, rallies, demonstrations and sit-ins after the state government announced Read more…