International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education (13 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, Kevin Deane, Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Rachel Maxwell, 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.
How Introductory Macroeconomics Should Be Taught After the Global Financial Crisis: Data from Greek University Students
by John Marangos, Marilou Ioakimidis
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.
A meaning discovery process: the unique contribution of the Austrian School of Economics and its relevance for contemporary economics curricula
by Carmelo Ferlito, Carmelo Ferlito
Abstract: In this paper I argue that the unique contribution of the Austrian School of Economics (ASE) is found in its general approach to economic problems, an approach that, because of its emphasis on meaning, has been called radical subjectivism. In the light of such an approach, we can look at and appreciate that the ASE is probably one of the latest schools which had, and still have, the aspiration of bringing out a general theory of the economic system, with the possibility of globally responding to economic questions within a broad paradigm. Moreover, such a paradigm was developed in order to incorporate two fundamental elements disregarded by mainstream economics: real people and real time. The aim of the present paper is thus to show how teaching Austrian economics can be a source of inspiration for students and scholars because of its unique approach to economic problems; its consequent aspiration to develop a general explanation of the economic process; and the importance of linking economic analysis to the real world.
Keywords: Austrian School of Economics; radical subjectivism; meaning; interpretation; economics education.
The Profound Implications of Continuing to Teach 'Supply and Demand' Instead of 'Demand and Cost' in Intro Economics Courses - an Unequal Exchange Application
by Ron Baiman
Abstract: This paper is focused on the ways in two iconic memes of Neoclassical (NC) introductory economics provide the ideological basis for the key Neoliberal Perfectly Competitive Free Market (PCFM) and Free Trade (FT) economic doctrines. It argues that the Supply and Demand Model (SDM) and Ricardian Comparative Advantage (RCA) memes that ostensibly support these doctrines provide are fundamentally erroneous and should be replaced in introductory economics teaching by Demand and Cost Model (DCM) and Unequal Exchange (UE) memes, respectively. The DCM is explained in detail and used to analyze all of the situations to which the SDM is usually applied. The paper shows that the DCM model provides a more realistic view of the production economy than the largely fictional SDM that is ubiquitous even in heterodox textbooks and has become the single most important meme that students retain from introductory economics.
Keywords: Supply and Demand; Demand and Cost; Introductory Economics Teaching; Neoclassical Economics; Unequal Exchange; Ricardian Comparative Advantage; Free Trade; Economic Memes.
Conventional Futures: A Review of Major issues from Islamic Finance Perspective
by Mohammad Ashraful Ferdous Chowdhury, Yousuf Sultan, Md. Mahmudul Haque
Abstract: Futures contracts, a widely used instrument for hedging and speculation, has recently become of interest in Islamic finance. However, numerous studies have passed restrictive judgment against the legitimateness of futures contracts as it contains components contradicting Islamic law e.g., offering a nonexistent product, short selling, gambling, and delay of counter values. The objective of this study is to explore shari'ah views on futures contracts. This study suggests that the validity of the contract depends solely on the nature of the agreement, the subject matter and existence of the prohibitive elements. Finally, this study recommends further research and invites collective efforts to innovate shariah compliant futures contacts.
Keywords: Conventional Future; futures contracts; gambling; Islamic finance; shari’ah law.
What would have been Keynes position in the socialist economic calculation debate, and why it matters
by Tiago Camarinha Lopes, Rafael Almeida
Abstract: The socialist economic calculation debate is an important episode in the history of economic thought. It represents the struggle of socialist economists against the claim made by Mises that socialism is theoretically impossible and Hayeks argument that it is practically unfeasible. Keynes showed little interest in both sides of that debate. But, if he had participated, what would have been his position? The paper proposes some possible answers to this question by arguing that he had a unique perspective on economic planning that did not suit the antagonistic sides of the controversy.
Keywords: socialist economic calculation debate; socialism; capitalism; communism; John Maynard Keynes; Friedrich Hayek; Oskar Lange; uncertainty; information problem; economic planning.
Unscripted Economics in an Industrial Community
by Marie Christine Duggan
Abstract: One third of US manufacturing jobs disappeared between 2001 and 2009, and the conventional explanations (low wages overseas, robots taking over) do not apply to the capital goods producers in Keene, New Hampshire, where the author teaches. Local firms compete with high wage counterparts, and firms using robots hire people as well. De/reindustrialization to ascertains the cause(s) of industrial contractionor success. Students visit plants in the local industrial base and conduct oral history interviews, analyze annual reports, and apply specific concepts of economic theory. The course is interdisciplinary, involves undergraduate research and civic engagement, and uses open education assignments. Unscripted learning has proved the great motivator, as students navigate their oral history interviews and the community presentation. The course succeeds in motivating students, and it serves the community, conveys research skills, and pushes the teacher to take economic theory in practical directions. The course ties both students and professor to the community, while stimulating students to increase their professionalism.
Keywords: deindutrialization; industry; oral history; economics teaching; unscripted learning; community engagement; open education economics; undergraduate reearch; interdisciplinary economics; unscripted learning.
Teaching Sustainability: Notes from France
by Candice Fournier, Sophie Guillet, Julien Hallak, Alizé Papp
Abstract: Given that economics shapes how we conceptualize environmental issues and design policies, economics education is crucial; and given the current crisis in economics education, our limited capacity to design effective policies should be worrisome. Our goal in this paper is to first analyse how sustainability is addressed at the French bachelor level; then we provide a pluralistic approach to sustainability, upon which an ambitiously effective curriculum can be built. The question is not to present a course frameworkthat is the professors responsibility, but to show how pluralism can combine rigour with critical thinking within the context of sustainability.
Economic Education Is Socio-Economic Education: Foundations of a Reflexive Business and Economic Education
by Georg Tafner
Abstract: The crux of economic education lies in the distinction between lifeworld economy and scientific economics. The didactical concept of reflexive business and economic education treats human beings as individuals and indivisibly social creatures embedded in culture and society. Mainstream economics follows a pleonastic economic rationality, its modelling abstracted from institutions, structures, power, and contingencies. A pedagogically acceptable approach cannot place instrumental rationality maximising self-interest at the core of the lifeworld. The contribution describes the wheel of socio-economic education, connecting the economic dimensions of the lifeworld with the social, political and ethical dimensions. Economic thought and action can never be purely egoistic and instrumental-rational as described for economic man. The social, ethical/moral and political are thus inherent to any form of economic action and therefore a necessary part of economic education. The wheel of socio-economic education combines those dimensions with the targets of efficiency, responsibility and meaning, to create socio-economic education.
Keywords: reflexive business and economic education; the wheel of socio-economic education; ethical and moral dimension; social and political dimension; mainstream economics; efficiency; responsibility; meaning.
Cornerstones of Socio-economic Education: On the Importance of Contextualising Economic Issues
by Tim Engartner
Abstract: Like mainstream neo-classical economics, mono-paradigmatic economic education currents neglect the cultural, historical, political, ethical, social and psychological factors. This occurs even though the relevance of these aspects is obvious from the (subject) didactic perspective, topically revealing, and convincing in terms of educational psychology. Many economic semi-fictions such as economic man persist, especially in the teaching context, despite wide-ranging discussion of importance of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. The issue is especially pressing in school economics teaching, which should be orientated on students situations and lifeworlds rather than adhering to the structures and models of the academic discipline. The present contribution identifies the epistemological, education policy and didactic deficits of neo-liberalleaning economic education and outlines the epistemological foundations, didactic principles and policy implications of socio-economic education.
Keywords: socio-economics; socio-economic education; multi-; inter- and transdisciplinarity;didactic principles; integration of social sciences.
Why a Pluralist Economics Education is Important for Incarcerated Individuals
by Jacqueline Strenio
Abstract: An economics education provides students with the tools necessary to solve todays complex problems and additionally, is desirable among employers. This is true for both traditional college students and incarcerated individuals enrolled in college courses in the United States. This article reviews the literature on the benefits of correctional education, arguing explicitly for the inclusion of economics in college-in-prison programs. Using the experience of teaching economics in a state prison, I extrapolate on how key economic principles can be made relevant in incarcerated lives. The necessity for diversity in economic content, especially within the limitations of a college-in-prison economics course, is also explored. A pluralist approach to economics encourages students to think critically about economic theory and allows for the incorporation of work by a diverse set of scholars that may more closely resemble the incarcerated population. Additional pedagogical considerations to contemplate when teaching in correctional education programs are briefly highlighted.
Keywords: prison; correctional education; postsecondary correctional education; college-in-prison; economics education; teaching economics; plurality; pluralism; pedagogy; human capital; re-entry; labor market discrimination; feminist economics.
Teaching the Tragedy of Open Access: A Classroom Exercise on Governing the Commons
by Will Fisher
Abstract: This paper addresses a prominent misconception in environmental economics and environmental studies concerning the Tragedy of the Commons and sustainable management of common-pool resources. The open-commons dilemma prevents many students and instructors from realizing the important role of common property regimes in sustainably managing resources. And, recognizing the important role simulations play in enhancing student comprehension and retention of complex material, this paper outlines a unique way for students to participate in the development of common property relationships through the use of the online simulation Fishbanks. This activity has been highly successful when conducted in my classes, and students have responded to the exercise with enthusiasm.
Keywords: pedagogy; common property; tragedy of the commons; simulation; classroom exercise; governing the commons; system dynamics; open access.