International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education
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International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education (14 papers in press)
The Global Economy: A Framework for Teachers of Microeconomics by Robert Scott Gassler Abstract: Economics instructors who take a pluralistic view may find useful a framework to show the relationship among the different schools of thought in economics. I construct a taxonomy based on Gasslers notion of political and social economics. It consists of nonmarket activities that either set up the market for success or correct for market failure. This framework illustrates how both neoclassical, and other approaches, can contribute to our understanding of the complexities of international political economy. First, I review the argument for free trade in the form of the first fundamental theorem of welfare economics, stressing the underlying assumptions. Second, using the same framework, I construct the neoclassical argument against free trade and show that it is much stronger than the argument in favour. I do this by simply describing the cases of market failure which are not difficult to find at the global level. Third, I argue that heterodox economics can help construct an alternative view of globalization that is better both positively and normatively; and the neoclassical theory does not stand in its way. Keywords: international economics; neoclassical economics; heterodox economics; neoliberal; political economy; welfare economics; free trade; law of comparative advantage; market failure; pluralism; economic education.
Economists: neither emperors nor dentists by Andrew Mearman Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up many fundamental debates and questions. Economists need to engage with these big questions but in the right ways. That means, yes, using their technical skills, but understanding that power and ethics are crucial to their analysis. Keywords: economics; COVID; pluralism; ethics.
Virus economics by Helge Peukert Abstract: This essay discuss nine topics, that are the main challenges for a pluralist-heterodox agenda for virus eco2nomics. At the end of each topic, research questions are formu-lated. The underlying assumption of this paper is that COVID-19 is a challenge for humanity like the Spanish flu, the most dangerous influenza until recently. Keywords: Corona; Covid; Heterodox Economics; Pluralist Economics; Virus Economics.
Change is Always as A Last Resort Change in Habits of Thought by Silja Graupe Abstract: The present crisis has revealed that around the globe we are often only able to react to crises when it is (almost) too late. This paper addresses and explains the mono-structure of thought that has led to this predicament and delineates a new model of cognition capable of creating a new biodiversity of thought and action, especially in the economic sphere. With this, future crises may not only be overcome but may also contribute be avoided altogether. This paper offers a vision which does not provide ready-made answers but rather aims more fundamentally at opening up a wholly new imaginative scope for the possible. Keywords: Sensus Communis; Behavioral Economics; Economics; Pluralism; Epistemology; Standard Economics; Economics Education.
Using Kollywood Movies to teach Economic Development by Feler Bose Abstract: Students are exposed to a variety of sources of information and entertainment during their undergraduate years, which presents opportunities since students are interacting with ideas and concepts in different settings. One such setting is international movies. Economic development is focused on developing countries; hence, when movies from developing countries are used in the classroom, they portray reality more vividly. This helps students learn about the developmental challenges confronting such countries. This paper looks at international movies in an Economic Development class, specifically Kollywood movies. The instructor was involved in the choice of Kollywood movies and provided guidance for each one. Keywords: Kollywood movies; cross-cultural; Tamil; Economic Development.
Teaching ECON 101 Pairing the Mankiw and Komlos texts by Junaid Jahangir Abstract: Mankiws widely used ECON 101 textbooks have come under criticism by economists of various ideologies, who feel that it is time to supplant the mainstream neoclassical paradigm given rising inequality, climate change, andthe aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Amongst the alternatives, the CORE text, and John Komlos Foundations of Real-World Economics substantively stand out. While the CORE text is used at various institutions, it has also received myriad criticisms. Additionally, given the immense human capital investment in the neoclassical paradigm, there is inertia in changing wholescale to a different paradigm presented by the CORE text. The objective of this paper is to briefly appraise the CORE text and to showcase how the Komlos text can be paired with the Mankiw texts. This approach would be useful for those instructors not seeking a radical overhaul in teaching pedagogy. Keywords: ECON 101; G.W. Mankiw; CORE; John Komlos.
Crazy Rich Game Theory by Wayne Geerling, G. Dirk Mateer, Mitch Addler Abstract: This paper uses the film Crazy Rich Asians (2018) to illustrate an active-learning technique for teaching game theory in introductory classes. Burke, Robak and Stumph (2018) show that using popular films in class is an effective way to teach core game theory concepts. We build on this work by using three key scenes from Crazy Rich Asians, providing interactive warm up activities, a detailed write up, and follow-up questions, so instructors gain a firm grasp of how to embed this content into their courses. This article is suitable for use in advance placement and principles-level courses in economics. Crazy Rich Asians is also an inclusive media choice because it features a strong female lead and an all-Asian cast. Keywords: technology; active learning; game theory; popular culture; pluralism.
Teaching Labour Economics: Moving from Microeconomics to Social Provisioning by Janice Peterson Abstract: Bridging the gap between the microeconomic models that have come to comprise much of the content of undergraduate labour economics textbooks and the real world has posed a challenge for many instructors of labour economics. This essay considers the advantages of pluralistic approaches to teaching labour economics and how such courses might be reconceptualized in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Keywords: COVID-19; labour economics; pluralistic economics education.
Who is afraid of post-growth? by Valentin Cojanu Abstract: Present times when economic activity has been drastically reduced and peoples pressure on the environment has receded provide us with a rare economic experiment of thinking beyond growth. The post-growth message cuts across diverse anti-establishment movements, but essentially all identify themselves with the goal of controlling growth to the end of preserving the good life between us and future people. We advance reasons to rethink our relationships towards (a) the economic role of the common good: how would economic science look like if it were concerned with good life rather than growth?; (b) the exercise of power: how can we constructively manage relations with those who provide access to (economic) resources?; and (c) the moral reason for change beyond growth. Keywords: heterodox economics; ecology; morality; power.
Economics education in a post-pandemic world by Maria Alejandra Madi Abstract: This short article focuses on the challenges of the Covid pandemic for colleges and universities in America. After framing one of the serious institutional and ethical problems brought on by the pandemic, the theoretical work of Karl Polanyi and the observations of Frank Bruni and Brian Rosenberg are considered to further analyse the relation between the provision of public goods, the dynamics of higher educational institutions, and the targets of instrumental rationality in society Keywords: covid pandemic; higher education; public goods; ethics.
Decentering Efficiency in Teaching Economics by Ellen Mutari Abstract: When we reshape the content of our economics curriculum to incorporate lessons garnered during the COVID-19 pandemic, we should start with the very definition of the discipline as the study of how society manages its scarce resources. The rigorous pursuit of narrow concepts of economic efficiency has weakened our societys ability to prepare for and respond to this pandemic. Efficiency means that there is no slack in the system. Our definition of economics should start with how we provide a context for human flourishing. As we face interlocking health and economic crises with differential impact on various groups, a coordinated response involving planning and cooperation is necessary. Accepting market imperfections and planning for them, instead of trusting impersonal forces, would better prepare us and the students in our classes for real-world crises such as we are facing now. Keywords: social provisioning; efficiency; scarcity; definition of economics; pluralism; economic education.
The Unexpected Victory of Modern Monetary Theory and Its Consequences by Dirk Ehnts Abstract: Mainstream economics, it has turned out, has been wrong about public deficits, public debt and fiscal policy in general. Modern Monetary Theory has proven to be reliable and should replace the ideas that have failed in the pandemic. Keywords: Modern Monetary Theory; Covid-19 pandemic; heterodox economics; public debt; fiscal policy.
COVID-19, universities, and economics by Lynne Chester Abstract: Government lockdowns and restrictions to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread societal and economic disruptions. Also exposed has been the pernicious impact of the past forty years of neoliberal policies including the transformation of the perceived role of universities from serving the public good, through knowledge creation, to the pursuit of profit and efficiency with consequential impacts on knowledge production and reproduction. This article contends that the praxis of conventional mainstream economics reproduces the ideology of neoliberalism and legitimates the neoliberal form of the university through constitutive and co-constitutive relationships. It is also argued that the discipline of economics needs to return to its social science roots of pluralism and interdisciplinarity if it is to contribute understanding of, and policy advice to address, complex and pressing real-world problems like global pandemics and the climate crisis. This return will also jettison a key support for the ideology of neoliberalism. Keywords: COVID-19; economics; interdisciplinarity; knowledge; neoliberalism; pluralism; universities.
Should democracy be part of the definition of economics? COVID policies in a broader context by Peter Söderbaum Abstract: In economics values are always with us. In our studies we make a number of choices and the choices we make tell us something about our values. Economics is always political economics. The attempt by neoclassical economists to offer a purely scientific economics has failed. Instead we need to take democracy and pluralism seriously and discuss how a different conceptual framework can strengthen rather than weaken democracy in our societies. Neoclassical economics and sustainability economics are presented as two different ideological orientations in the form of narratives. As economists we make a choice between narratives (with their respective conceptual framework), and our values are revealed when choosing one narrative rather than the other. Democracy is threatened in some countries and even in nations belonging to the European Union. It is time for us as economists to discuss how democracy can be integrated into economics with its conceptual framework. Keywords: neoclassical economics; sustainability economics; political economics; democracy; ideological orientation; narrative; political economic person; political economic organization; COVID policy options.