International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education (27 papers in press)
Recharting the History of Economic Thought: Approaches to and student experiences of the introduction of pluralist teaching in an undergraduate economics curriculum
by Kevin Deane, Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Rachel Maxwell
Abstract: This paper outlines an innovative redesign of a course on the History of Economic Thought, which acted as a vehicle for exposing students to different theoretical traditions and engaging them in critical reflections on mainstream economics. It also presents findings from a research project conducted with economics students at the University of [Authors Institution]
Keywords: Heterodox economics; pluralism; flipped classroom; History of Economic Thought; pedagogy; curriculum reform; student experiences.
Critical financial literacy: an agenda
by Moritz Hütten, Daniel Maman, Zeev Rosenhek, Matthias Thiemann
Abstract: Following the recent financial crisis, consumer behavior was framed as central in contributing to financial instability. To heighten the financial responsibility of consumers, programs to increase the financial literacy of the general population are being administered by the OECD and other national and international, public and private organizations. Far from presenting a balanced view of economics or encouraging civic engagement in financial regulation, such programs focus on correcting what is viewed as consumer misconduct. In the process, economic topics are naturalized and become reified. We oppose this mainstream financial literacy, by proposing a critical financial literacy (CFL) program that empowers citizens to question the role of finance in society, and that underscores the importance of representing civil society interests in financial regulation. Hence, we call on civil society organizations and other stakeholders in civil society to contribute to the content of these programs and promote a CFL.
Keywords: financial literacy; financial education; financial regulation; critical financial literacy; critical education; socioeconomic education; neoliberalism; financialization; civil society.
Accounting education, democracy and sustainability: taking divergent perspectives seriously
by Judy Brown, Jesse Dillard
Abstract: How might accounting educators foster greater awareness of, and facilitate democratic dialogue about, divergent socio-political perspectives regarding sustainability? Rather than focusing on business perspectives that emphasize a business case approach to sustainable development, how might they enable the expression of a range of viewpoints? Building on an emergent body of literature seeking to foster pluralistic approaches to accounting theory and practice, this paper reflects on the possibilities of developing accounting education for sustainability based on ideas of agonistic pluralism. In the process, it highlights how mainstream accounting\'s reliance on neo-classical economics has contributed to the monologic approaches that currently dominate accounting, including accounting education.
Keywords: accounting education; neo-classical economics; democracy; pluralism; agonistics; politics; citizenship; neoliberalism; participation; sustainability.
What the Fishing Boats Have in Common: A Classroom Experiment
by Caleb Lewis
Abstract: Pluralism in the economics classroom should be effectively supported by active learning exercises. This paper describes a classroom experiment that involves students in an incentivized common goods environment in a context familiar to students from diverse backgrounds: over-fishing. This exercise can provide a learning moment that draws from the varied experiences and world-views of the participants and varied theoretical approaches including those outside mainstream economics. In each round of the game students individually choose between fishing aggressively and conservatively. Fishing aggressively depletes a school of fish to such an extent that it will not replenish. Students are rewarded with points in proportion to their catch to simulate the returns to private fishing boats. The result is an effective and engaging learning opportunity particularly suitable to undergraduate economics courses. This exercise is an example of how pluralism can be incorporated in pedagogy.
Keywords: pluralism; pedagogy; economics education; active learning; classroom experiments; common goods.
Key competencies, complex systems thinking, and economics education for sustainability
by Dennis Badeen
Abstract: The concept of key competencies has become an important element of education for sustainability. The cornerstone of key competencies is complex systems thinking. Most who argue for the integration of key competencies into various learning processes also suggest that such integration requires critical reflection on traditional paradigms in various disciplines. This article examines the ramifications of such integration as it pertains to economics. It is argued that key competencies can be learned by studying and applying Peter S
Keywords: Education for sustainability; key competencies; institutional ecological\r\neconomics; neoclassical-environmental economics; complex systems thinking.
Sustainability and Pluralist Pedagogy: Creating an Effective Political Economic Fusion?
by Gareth Bryant, Frank Stilwell
Abstract: This article considers the challenges of teaching about environmental issues and sustainability from a pluralist perspective within a political economy program. After considering the general characteristics of sustainability and pluralism, it discusses the advantages and the tensions arising from bringing them together in a university curriculum. The experience of teaching a Political Economy of the Environment unit at the University of Sydney is given particular attention. The results of a student survey show what can be achieved in terms of learning outcomes and students interests and intentions.
Keywords: Sustainability; pluralism; political economy; heterodox economics; teaching; learning outcomes.
Economic Nationalism in the History of International Economics
by Sanja Grubacic, Julian Schuster
Abstract: This paper examines the sources of economic nationalism by a closer examination of the theory and policy of international trade, originating in the 19th century. We compare and contrast the views of British classical writers, the main proponents of trade liberalism, with the writings of Friedrich List, the main proponent of economic nationalism. The focus is on the distributional implications of trade, and the treatment of the benefits that a poor country may derive from trading with a rich country in 19th century economic thought. We also review the current literature on economic nationalism, and find that alternative perspectives emerge from differing views on the benefits and drawbacks of globalization. We argue that Lists approach remains relevant to understanding contemporary economic nationalism because it highlights a historical context in which the adverse distributional implications of foreign trade are likely to provoke nationalist sentiment.
Keywords: Free Trade; Protectionism; Distributional Implications of Trade; Globalization; Inequality; Economic Nationalism; Ricardo; List; Malthus.
Old Habits Die Hard: Or, why has Economics not Become an Evolutionary Science?
by Erkan GÜRPINAR, Altug YALCINTAS
Abstract: In this article, we explain why economics has not become an evolutionary science since Veblen published his seminal 1898 paper, Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science? One cause of economists reluctance to displace non-evolutionary preconceptions in economics is that the history of economics in the second half of the twentieth century has been characterized by conceptual schizophrenia, defined as a state where economists do not change their minds although critical scientists provide abundant counter-arguments and refuting evidence. The (evolutionary) drift that Veblen thought would transform economics into an evolutionary science has become an evolutionary process itself. We argue that an alternative path for the heterodoxy, akin to speciation in biology, is needed.
Keywords: evolutionary economics; habits of thought; intellectual path dependence; conceptual schizophrenia; speciation; Veblen.
Barter, Efficiency, and Money Prices: Dissecting Nashs Bargaining Example
by Fritz Helmedag
Abstract: John Nashs own illustration of his famous bargaining solution has fallen into oblivion. There, a good is traded that the giver appreciates more than the taker. Although this transaction contributes to the largest (weighted) product of utility gains, their sum falls below the attainable maximum which indicates efficiency. In addition, it is shown that with a medium of exchange and fair prices both criteria can be met. The participants then enjoy the same benefits from exchange. Accordingly, even with only two persons, money can improve their welfare. The insights presented in this paper deserve to find their way into classrooms.
Keywords: bargaining; barter; Nash; money.
How Introductory Macroeconomics Should Be Taught After the Global Financial Crisis: Data from Greek University Students
by John Marangos
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to review a range of suggestions made in the literature to improve economics pedagogy following the recent global financial crisis. In addition, we scrutinize responses to a survey of macroeconomics students from the University of Macedonia to determine issues in teaching economics and what the responses imply about how pedagogy may be improved. Both the literature and the survey analysis suggest the importance of teaching economics more relevant and responsive to real-world economic phenomena. However, different ways of accomplishing this objective are suggested by the two sources. The analysis of the Greek student survey also suggests the importance of addressing the issue of non-authoritative versus authoritative sources of information.
Keywords: economic crisis; macroeconomics; teaching economics; Greece.
Explaining changing individual identity: Two examples from the financial crisis
by John Davis
Abstract: This paper develops a framework for explaining change in agent identities, and uses the recent financial crisis to illustrate it by comparing two examples of identity change brought about by the crisis. The agent identity theory employed is the idea of a having capability for keeping a self-narrative or autobiographical account of oneself. This idea is developed in terms of two ways individuals identify with social groups, and in terms of the idea of individuals performing a self-concept. The two financial crisis examples of identity change concern sub-prime homeowners and bank depositors. The paper closes with comments on the role of identity analysis in a pluralistic economics.rn
Keywords: identity; self-narrative; social groups; self-concept; financial crisis; pluralismrn.
Economics and Democracy for Sustainability Politics
by Peter Söderbaum
Abstract: The challenges of sustainable development are multidimensional and involve all actors in society. To lmatch this challenge economics is defined in a new way as multidimensional management of lresources in a democratic society. It is argued that present unsustainable patterns raises issues of lpossible paradigm failure (in economics), ideology failure and democracy failure. A political leconomics approach is suggested where individuals and organizations are understood in political lterms. Ideology and ideological orientation are proposed as essential concepts in an alternative ltheoretical framework for economics and sustainability politics. A method for sustainability lassessment that is compatible with democracy is proposed. It is finally discussed how our chances to ldeal successfully with the climate change issue may be improved by systematically attempting to ldevelop alternatives to the neoclassical paradigm and ideology. l
Keywords: sustainable development; UN sustainable development goals; democracy; paradigm failure; ideology failure; political economic person; political economic organization; sustainability assessment.
Critical Pedagogy and the Pecuniary Interests of Higher Education
by Scott McConnell, Anthony Eisenbarth, Brian Eisenbarth
Abstract: This paper seeks to explore three primary questions: 1) what are the goals of the institution of education? 2) How do the underlying forces in a contemporary capitalist system promote the institution of education and to what ends? 3) How is technical change driven by the underlying dynamics between capitalism and the educational process? Specifically, what does the introduction of online learning mean for the future of critical thought in general and the teaching of heterodox economics in particular and is the institution of education under modern capitalism moving away from engaged discourse and toward the banking method of learning? In order to explore the first question of what an education is or should be, the paper will discuss the work of social philosophy, specifically pedagogical philosophers that identify with the critical pedagogy school of thought originating in Brazil in the early 1960s, which promotes the role of education within a capitalist social order as a necessary means for democratic ends. The paper will then argue that in order to understand the increased employment of new technologies in education, such as online learning, one must consider the institutionalist economics perspective, specifically Veblens delineation of pecuniary and instrumental motives within the business enterprise, as well as his understanding of the place of the higher learning in a modern pecuniary culture.
Keywords: Critical pedagogy; Veblen; Higher Education; heterodox economics;.
Teaching Political Economy for Human Rights
by Manuel Branco
Abstract: Teaching economics today, consists essentially in transmitting mainstream theory due the lack of pluralism and social focus in the academy. Furthermore, how economics is taught is also largely responsible for how economic information reaches citizens. If economics is to help advance human rights, the first step consists in decoding mainstream rhetoric; the second step in adopting an alternative discourse.
Keywords: Political Economy; Human Rights; Teaching Economics; Mainstream Economics; Pluralism; Language; Textbooks;.
Sustainable Development and Green Education in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
by Fu-Lai Tony YU, Wai-Kee Yuen, Chi-Ho Tang
Abstract: In recent years, increasing attention has been paid towards green economics and sustainable development. The aim of this paper is to examine how the three Chinese economies (mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) promote sustainability concepts through private sectors, government policies and education. In particular, it is found that the Chinese government plays a leading role in launching education for environment protection and sustainable development, while Taiwan legislates environmental education bills to promote a green economy. Hong Kong is adopting an integrated approach, which is composed of green finance, green government and green education, to promote sustainable economic development.
Keywords: Sustainable development; green education; climate change; Mainland China; Taiwan; Hong Kong.
ON PLURALISM AND ECONOMICS
by Victor Beker
Abstract: After the 2007/08 financial crisis exposed the shortcomings of mainstream economic theory the need for pluralism in economics has become more acute. Pluralism appears as the main alternative to avoid the threat to economic science posed by the monopoly of an economic theory divorced from reality and real-world problems. This paper argues that rather than one unique economic theory, here is a collection of economic theoriesour collective diversified intellectual portfolio that compete with each other. Pluralism in economics education is a necessary precondition to enable a level playing field where students have equal access to different theories. However, the difficulties to implement such an approach should not be underestimated. From a practical point of view, it is suggested that implementing a unique digital platform would greatly help to present heterodox ideas and develop internal debate.
Keywords: pluralism; realism; heterodox economics; mainstream economics.
Sustainable Development Viewed from the Lens of Islam
by Junaid Qadir, Asad Zaman
Abstract: In this article, we expound the Islamic conception of “sustainable development”, a movement that originally arose as a reaction to the myopic formulation of human development exclusively in terms of economic growth by neoclassical economics regardless of its disastrous effects on the planet and people (particularly, those of future generations). In contrast, the Islamic notion of human development is more holistic and emphasizes a harmonious coexistence of human beings and nature through the responsible utilization of natural resources, which are considered as God’s gift to the whole of humanity in the current as well as the future generations. Islamic conception of development is endogenously “sustainable” (as defined by the sustainable community) due to its emphasis on responsible use of resources; empathy for others (e.g., through both optional and mandatory charity); and recommendations for simpler lifestyles and minimal consumption. The Islamic tradition also provides strong support for practically implementing the vision of “sustainable development”—the Achilles heel of current sustainability efforts—through concrete legal instruments for the state as well as incentives to individuals. The purpose of this article is to articulate the Islamic sustainable development vision and provide a brief description of the tools, incentives, and guidelines that Islam offers regarding sustainable and authentic development. rn
Keywords: Sustainable Development; Islamic Economics; Islamic Sustainable Development; Human Development; Green Economics; Environmental Reform
Special Issue on: Teaching Inequality in an Age of Pluralism
Challenges and Pedagogies for Teaching Inequality in Undergraduate Development Economics
by Sucharita Sinha Mukherjee
Abstract: Students in undergraduate economics classes, bogged down by mathematical and statistical technicalities, often fail to connect classroom learning to real world experiences which would better help to understand concepts and to examine policy prescriptions for economic issues such as economic inequality. Through a combination of different pedagogies involving academic resources, media, data analysis and experiential learning, students in my Economic Development course are exposed to the challenges of measuring and combating inequality. By looking at income inequality in conjunction with inequalities of health and education access, and understanding gender and racial differences across nations as well as locally, students grasp the complexities of public policies addressing inequality. Adopting a feminist methodology in class provides students a framework to analyse the heterogeneity of the human experience critical to the study of inequality.
Keywords: Inequality; Pedagogy; Undergraduate Economics Pedagogy; Development Economics; Feminist Pedagogy.
Beyond Left-Right: Teaching Inequality with Four Ideological Lenses
by Oliver Cooke, Patrick Dolenc, Kim Schmidl-Gagne
Abstract: We believe the levels of economic inequality experienced in many Western countries today threaten democratic principles. Exposing todays undergraduates to the debate over inequality is therefore vitally important. Yet, political discourse surrounding controversial public policy issues, like economic inequality, continues to grow increasingly polarized and adversarial. While we embrace controversy and intellectual disagreement in our classrooms, we believe students should be taught to think in ways that move beyond divisive dichotomies that are often framed as zero-sum games. The traditional left-right debate over inequality in the United States is representative of this type of discourse. The pedagogical framework described here, which revolves around four political ideologies, circumvents this usual left-right constraint. By allowing students to explore the issue of inequality in a multidimensional political space, our framework engenders a more nuanced and less polarized inequality discourse.
Keywords: Inequality; economic inequality; ideology; Great Compression; Great Divergence; living wage; classical liberal; modern liberal; conservative; libertarian; radical; social-democrat; progressive; diagnostic; critical thinking; civic engagement; polarization.
Teaching Health in an Era of Inequality
by Iris Buder, Jake Jennings
Abstract: With rising inequalities in the US (Piketty & Saez, 2003; Piketty & Zucman, 2014), there have also been rising health disparities, which is especially pronounced when viewed by racial/ethnic group and by socioeconomic status (Adler et al., 2002; Pampel et al., 2010; Berkman, 2009). This paper provides an outline for instructing on these disparities, and specifically their impact on health outcomes is what we seek to address, while providing various pedagogical approaches to their explanation.
Keywords: Health Disparities; Socioeconomic Status; Income Inequality; Teaching Inequality; Economics Education; United States healthcare; Mortality; Morbidity; Health/Wealth Gradient; Gini Index; Income Distribution; Social Policy.
Teaching about Poverty and Inequality: Critical Pedagogy and Personal Experience in the Learner-Centered Classroom
by Sasha Breger Bush, Roni Kay O'Dell
Abstract: We argue that teaching students about poverty and inequality requires three foundational pedagogical insights and practices from the learner-centered, critical pedagogy literature: 1) engaging students in dialogue, 2) building on personal experience and fostering empathy, and 3) helping students to visualize action in overturning oppressive societal structures. This paper reviews the foundational theoretical and evidence-based literature to suggest that poverty and inequality must be taught in dialogical, experiential ways. We share our experiences based on our combined 17 years as instructors in the classroom, and provide detail on four activities that we have successfully run in our classrooms that help students learn about poverty and inequality by engaging with personal experience: two budgeting exercises; one simulation activity; and one expansive activity that allows students to engage deeply, critically and comparatively with the personal experiences of others (via, e.g., oral histories, interviews and photography).
Keywords: Poverty; Inequality; Critical Pedagogy; Empathy; Experiential Learning; Learner-Centered Teaching.
What Can Teaching Economists Learn from Poverty Simulations Run by Nursing Faculty?
by Michelle Gierach, Reynold Nesiba
Abstract: Even though teaching economists and nursing faculty teach vastly different subject matter, there is a way for these faculty to collaborate. We use a poverty simulation to facilitate an active learning strategy that addresses the complex issues of inequality and poverty. The Poverty Simulation is a tool utilized frequently in the health science literature to provide students with an opportunity to step into the shoes of a person experiencing poverty. This approach utilizes a variety of pedagogical strategies to facilitate the deepening of knowledge and the development of empathy toward persons experiencing poverty. Methods to deliver the Poverty Simulation and measure outcomes are addressed through a study that provides an example of how this innovative pedagogy can be integrated into economics course curricula to address the issues of inequality and poverty.
Keywords: poverty simulation; inequality; poverty; economics education; active learning strategy; nursing education; interprofessional collaboration.
Behind the Masks of Total Choice: Teaching Alienation in the Age of Inequality
by Geert Dhondt, Mathieu Perron-Dufour, Ian Seda-Irizarry
Abstract: In this article we examine different ways for making the concept of alienation relevant and interesting for undergraduate students in relation to the present-day concerns regarding distributive dynamics and inequality, especially in the United States. We find inspiration for this in the theoretical and practical importance of alienation in Marxs critique of capitalism and the way it is entwined with distribution. We first look at sources of alienation in contemporary U.S. economy, before deriving an analytical framework for the analysis of the concept using Marxs characterisation. We then offer different ways for making the concept of alienation accessible to students in the classroom, using examples from popular culture and linking them back to broader capitalist dynamics.
Keywords: Teaching; Inequality; Alienation; Commodity Fetishism; Marxism.
THE DYNAMICS OF INEQUALITY IN THE HUMAN STORY: A BRIEF SKETCH
by Jon D. Wisman
Abstract: Teaching contemporary inequality can be significantly enriched by being nested in its dynamics over the course of human history. This essay is intended to provide those teaching inequality with a brief sketch of: a) the original human condition of a high degree of equality that endured for 97 to 98 percent of our species existence as foragers and early agriculturalists; b) the origin of extreme inequality that accompanied the rise of states and civilization about 5,500 years ago as weapons technology enabled a few to subjugate the producers; and c) why, despite political democracy, extreme inequality persists.
Keywords: Aboriginal equality; rise of state; comparative advantage in violence; democracy; ideology.
Pass GO and Collect $610: Modified Monopoly for Teaching Inequality
by Kevin W. Capehart, Va Nee L. Van Vleck
Abstract: Modified versions of the board game Monopoly have been used to teach inequality. This paper reviews modifications suggested in the pedagogical literature and then reports survey-based results on whether playing a modified version of the game affected students objective perceptions or subjective attitudes towards inequality. Our survey results suggest that, compared to a group of students who received only a traditional lecture on inequality statistics, students who played the modified Monopoly game saw larger improvements in their objective perceptions of the actual extent of income and wealth inequality and, also, bigger changes in their subjective attitudes about the importance of inheritance, luck, and hard work to real-world success. Yet attitudes were not dramatically affected by playing the game and misperceptions about basic inequality statistics remained, so higher impact approaches to teaching inequality are still needed.
Keywords: income inequality; wealth inequality; Monopoly; games.
Teaching to think: Challenges and suitability of teaching inequality topics in a business school
by Danielle Guizzo, Lotta Takala-Greenish
Abstract: By employing a critical pedagogical approach that discusses non-dominant forms of knowledge, we demonstrate how two inequality topics gender and trade provide a platform for rethinking standard forms of economic and social knowledge. A detailed analysis of two modules, Political Economy and International Trade and Multinational Business, reveals an openness and interest in real world examples and active learning methods. Through these, student responses indicate an emerging acceptance and positive response to topics of inequality as the basis for critical thinking. Nevertheless, students also indicate frustration with the difficulty in matching the real world to current theoretical frameworks, and the suggested uncertainty of critical pedagogical approaches. The findings also suggest that improved knowledge of different empirical approaches may be useful to focus student interest and address areas of frustration during the learning process.
Keywords: Teaching Economics; Inequality; Critical Pedagogy; Educational Philosophy; Pluralism; Political Economy; Gender; International Trade; Labour; Real World Examples.
Teaching wealth inequality in the Eurozone: An outline based on HFCS data
by Matthias Schnetzer
Abstract: This paper presents an outline for an undergraduate course on wealth inequality with nine learning goals. Based on empirical evidence from the Eurozone Household Finance and Consumption Survey 2010 (HFCS), wealth inequality is introduced as a distinct field of study. The outline concisely illustrates the challenges of empirical research when collecting wealth data and measuring wealth inequality. By reference to recent literature, particular attention is paid to intergenerational wealth transfers. Finally, the paper presents several tools for interactive teaching.
Keywords: Wealth distribution; wealth inequality; inheritances; teaching inequality; interactive teaching; economics education; empirical economics; Household Finance and Consumption Survey; HFCS; wealth survey; Eurozone;.