International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education (10 papers in press)
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.
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.
Econ FilmMaking: An experiential, problem-based, multimedia project for microeconomics
by Thomas Andrews
Abstract: Econ FilmMaking projects are short, entertaining videos created by students to illustrate an economic concept. While the projects can be on any topic, this article focuses on an assignment that requires students to explain a firms average cost of production. In this assignment, students gather background information on a firms production process, build a spreadsheet cost model, and then work in teams to create a brief, educational and entertaining video summarizing their results. The project is problem-based, experiential, and fun. The project is suitable for upper-level economics classes, and the resulting videos are useful in teaching cost theory to principles students.
Keywords: experiential learning; problem-based learning; multimedia; video; economic education; economic videos; spreadsheets; critical thinking; microeconomics; cost theory.
Teaching Economics Outside the Box: Using the circular-flow diagram to indicate efficient resource allocation in intermediate microeconomics
by Hideki Sato
Abstract: A circular-flow diagram not only depicts the circulation of goods and money within a market economy but also suggests the efficiency of resource allocation at market equilibrium. rnrnHowever, economics instructors invoke the Edgeworth box diagram and not the circular-flow diagram to demonstrate efficient resource allocation. rnrnTherefore, this paper proposes a simple method to describe the efficiency of resource allocation, in an introductory macroeconomics class, using a circular-flow diagram.
Keywords: circular-flow diagram; market equilibrium; resource allocation; efficiency; GDP; households; representative firm; utility; profit; universality of markets.
Sustainability Citizenship through Economics Education? Contributions from the German Debate on Business Ethics
by Christoph Schank, Alexander Lorch
Abstract: Criticism of an economics education taken over by traditional mainstream economics has gotten louder and more explicit, especially following the recent worldwide economic crises. Especially economic science and economics education often seem disconnected from the reality of their addressees and appear disinterested or helpless in face of normative problems in particular. This article aims to focus on contributions from the field of (German) business ethics, notably the integrative economics ethics (Ulrich), to an economics education that is centered around a responsible citizen and empowers him/her to lead a sustainable life within a modern society. Starting with a discussion of contrarian approaches, constitutes of a Sustainability Citizen will be developed which can serve as an educational ideal of an enlightened economics education along the lines of a good life.
Keywords: economics education; sustainability citizenship; economic citizenship; business ethics; integrated economics ethics; sustainable development; competencies for sustainable development; socio-economics.