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History of Thought and Methodology in Pluralist Economics Education


  • Sheila Dow

    () (University of Stirling)


The purpose of the paper is to develop the argument that history of thought and methodology should form part of the content of pluralist teaching in economics, where the aim of this teaching is to equip students to exercise their own judgement as economists. Discussion of the nature and scope of economics, with examples from history, helps students understand what is involved in considering a range of approaches and methods (rather than uncritically accepting one general approach, but without resorting to 'anything goes'). A way of teaching about the current crisis is used as an exemplar.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheila Dow, 2009. "History of Thought and Methodology in Pluralist Economics Education," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(2), pages 41-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:8:y:2009:i:2:p:41-57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
    2. Miguel A. Duran, 2007. "Mathematical Needs and Economic Interpretations," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-16.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
    4. Hahn, Frank H, 1973. "The Winter of our Discontent," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 322-330, August.
    5. Philip Arestis, 2002. "Financial crisis in Southeast Asia: dispelling illusion the Minskyan way," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 237-260, March.
    6. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
    7. Jan Kregel, 2008. "Minsky’s Cushions of Safety: Systemic Risk and the Crisis in the U.S. Subprime Mortgage Market," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_93, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. Victoria Chick & Sheila Dow, 2005. "The meaning of open systems," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 363-381.
    9. Victoria Chick, 2008. "Could the Crisis at Northern Rock have been Predicted?: An Evolutionary Approach-super- 1," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 115-124.
    10. Backhouse, Roger E., 2001. "How and Why should We Write the History of Twentieth-Century Economics?," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(02), pages 243-251, June.
    11. L. Randall Wray & Eric Tymoigne, 2008. "Macroeconomics Meets Hyman P. Minsky: The Financial Theory of Investment," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_543, Levy Economics Institute.
    12. Krugman, Paul, 1998. "Two Cheers for Formalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1829-1836, November.
    13. Jason Furman & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1998. "Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 1-136.
    14. Backhouse, Roger E, 1998. "If Mathematics Is Informal, Then Perhaps We Should Accept That Economics Must Be Informal Too," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1848-1858, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Garnett & Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Contending Perspectives, Twenty Years On: What Have Our Students Learned?," Working Papers 201104, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    2. Robert F. Garnett & Jack Reardon, 2011. "Pluralism in Economics Education," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 23 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Andrew Mearman, 2012. "Pluralist economics curricula: do they work; and how would we know?," Working Papers 20121203, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.

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