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Pluralism in economics: A public good or a public bad?

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  • Dalen, H.P. van

    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

A pluralist approach to economics is both necessary from anacademic as well a policy point of view. From an academicviewpoint pluralism can be understood as the outcome ofcompetition and specialization in the search for new ideasthat can deal with imperfections of the real world. From apolicy point of view a diversity of view is also desirableas it helps to spread the risk of large mistakes in policychoices. However, the present-day teaching practices andtextbooks are by and large not well suited to deal with apluralist approach. Possible routes of that can help to enrichteaching and curricula are: (1) teaching the art of economicpolicy; (2) stress teaching economics by learning from the past;(3) teach by becoming imperialist so that a conversationbetween discipline gets underway; (4) merge business andgeneral economics as the dividing line between the two isnowadays quite thin; (5) practice Reality Economics; and(6) teach basic principles (especially in the bachelors stage)in a ‘Socratesian’ manner, i.e. let students learn economicsby doing (e.g. by experimental economics or interviewingbusinessmen).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University in its series Open Access publications from Tilburg University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-347616.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-347616

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Web page: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/

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  1. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Mearman & Tim Wakeley & Gamila Shoib & Don J. Webber, 2011. "Does Pluralism in Economics Education Make Better Educated, Happier Students? A Qualitative Analysis," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 10(2), pages 50-62.
  2. Bruno Frey, 2006. "How Influential is Economics?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 295-311, June.
  3. Adriano Birolo & Annalisa Rosselli, 2010. "Research standards for the Italian young academics: what has changed over the last thirty years?," CEIS Research Paper 161, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.

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