Michel Ghassibe, second year economist at Cambridge University and president of CSEP, explains how the different schools of Economics thought were alternatively in the spotlight throughout the 20th century. The integration of Economic pluralism in one's education is the best solution against these monopolistic shifts between different schools of thought.
Many schools of thought have always competed for the dominant position in both the academia and the policy-making world. John Maynard Keynes’s School managed to establish an intellectual monopoly in the three decades following the end of World War II. It was centred on the notion that the economy is unstable because consumers and investors are driven by the spontaneous animal spirits. Its solution to these challenges, adopted by governments at the time, was to manage these fluctuations in demand through aggregate demand management by the state, nationalisation and fixed exchange rates to promote an export-led recovery.
The Vice President of the CSEP Marco Schneebalg stresses the importance and necessity of a new way for Economics teaching.
The shape of the world economy has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, but the economic curriculum has not. Curriculum reform is necessary and long overdue to overhaul some of the outdated concepts that are still being taught. A re-introduction of the intellectual dynamism of pluralism would reinvigorate the discipline. The last twenty years have seen the dotcom bubble burst and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It’s fair to say that economists failed to anticipate the coming of the crisis or its magnitude once it had arrived.
In the context of sluggish recoveries or even stagnations in developed countries, Matthew Ridley discusses "The Great Stagnation" theory.
Prediction is hard. Predictions always tell us far more about the predictors themselves than they do about the future. This is as true for generations as it is for individuals: when those in past eras tried to forecast the technology that would exist today, they invariably extrapolated from the technological developments of their own lifetime. Occasionally this can lead to surprising accuracy (witness the prediction from 1910 that in a century’s time we would all carry
Charles Read, teaching fellow in Economic History at Cambridge University, writes on The Economist about the Great Depression and the lessons we can draw from it for current policies.
SINCE the start of what some now call the “Great Recession” in 2007, economists have been unable to avoid comparing it with the Depression of the early 1930s. For some, the comparisons are explicit. Economists like Paul Krugman and Barry Eichengreen have drawn parallels between the two slumps. Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned several times over the last few years that the world risked falling into a new “Great Depression”. Economic historians themselves have had an unprecedented role in policy making during the recent crisis. Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve and Obama-administration advisors like Christina Romer all have academic backgrounds in the discipline.
Date: Monday 25th Nov, 5.15pm
Venue: Little Hall Sidgwick site
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/events/246479608843525/
There has been much talk in the press (see links below) recently about the needed reforms to the teaching of Economics and CSEP is very excited to participate in this debate. Indeed, The Treasury and bank of England as well as many employers complained that economics graduates were not fit for the labour market as they did not know enough about reality. Dr Coyle, OBE, Managing Director of Enlightenment Economics and a former advisor to the UK Treasury, will try to address these matters, analysing what is missing from today's economics curricula and proposing concerete changes to improve them. Please Invite your friends and attend the facebook event!!!
We also aim to take this opportunity to create a focus group that will tackle this issue in Cambridge and will meet regularly to organise activities and campaigns. To kick this off, on Monday 25th at 1pm, we are organising a Skype Chat with Zach WP from the Manchester Post Crash Economics Society in the graduate common room, first floor of the Marshall Library.
See you there!
About the speaker:
Diane Coyle did her undergraduate studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, reading philosophy, politics, and economics, before gaining an MA and a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, graduating in 1985. Coyle was an economist at the UK Treasury from 1985 to 1986, and later became the European Editor of Investors Chronicle between 1993 and 2001 and economics editor of The Independent. Coyle was also a presenter on BBC Radio 4, is a member of the UK Border Agency's Migration Advisory Committee, a former member of the UK's Competition Commission, member of the Royal Economic Society and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has written a series of books focused on educating people about different aspects of economics. Her latest are "GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History" Princeton University Press, 2014), "The Economics of Enough: How to run the economy as if the future matters" (Princeton University Press, 2011),"The Soulful Science: what economists really do and why it matters" (Princeton University Press, 2007)
Treasury conference 11 November, attended also by CSEP representatives: Economics explains our world – but economics degrees don’t By Wendy Carlin
‘Dismal science’ seeks fresh thinking after failure in crisis By Claire Jones, Economics reporter
Orthodox economists have failed their own market test Seumas Milne http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/20/orthodox-economists-failed-market-test
Post-Keynesians are staging a comeback http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/nov/18/post-keynesians-comeback
University economics teaching to be overhauled Move follows criticism over 'limited and outdated' curriculum and failure to include how financial markets can undermine stability http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/nov/11/university-economics-teaching-overhaul
Economics lecturers accused of clinging to pre-crash fallacies http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/nov/10/economics-lecturers-accused-university-courses
Manchester Post Crash Economics Society: Economics students need to be taught more than neoclassical theory Zach Ward-Perkins and Joe Earle http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/28/economics-students-neoclassical-theory
Economics students aim to tear up free-market syllabus Philip Inman http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/24/students-post-crash-economics
The Pluralist Blog was launched at the beginning of the academic year 2013/14 by the CSEP Committee with the aim of providing pluralists around Cambridge and particularly members of the Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism with a lively forum. The Pluralist Blog is designed to feature regular articles by the CSEP committee, but is open to anyone who wishes to publish his masterpiece of pluralist thought. We hope that readers will make extensive use of the opportunity to comment on articles and thus create an alternative discussion platform complementing our debates in the lecture halls.