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Sins of the Sons of Samuelson: Vision, pedagogy, and the zig-zag windings of complex dynamics

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  • Colander, David
  • Rothschild, Casey

Abstract

The standard economics text is centered on a vision of a naturally self-regulated, dynamically stable system with a unique global attractor. This paper discusses how we got there and how recent developments in the study of dynamical systems allow us to go beyond that. It traces the evolution of the teaching of economics from Alfred Marshall, who built his supply-and-demand framework within a complexity vision of the economy. It suggests that that complexity vision was lost as economists formalized the supply-demand framework and extended it to the entire economy. This paper argues that the current textbook presentation of economics should not and cannot serve as the only intellectual frame we provide to our students.

Suggested Citation

  • Colander, David & Rothschild, Casey, 2010. "Sins of the Sons of Samuelson: Vision, pedagogy, and the zig-zag windings of complex dynamics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 277-290, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:74:y:2010:i:3:p:277-290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Olivier Blanchard, 2009. "The State of Macro," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 209-228, May.
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    8. Debreu, Gerard, 1974. "Excess demand functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-21, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Colander, 2011. "Applied Policy, Welfare Economics, and Mill’s Half-Truths," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Recent Economic Methodology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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