Decentering efficiency in teaching economics
by Ellen Mutari
International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education (IJPEE), Vol. 11, No. 3, 2020

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 society's 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.

Online publication date: Tue, 13-Jul-2021

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