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The Wrong Type of Pluralism: Toward a Transdisciplinary Social Science

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  • Dave Colander

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Abstract

When heterodox economists talk of pluralism they generally are talking about pluralism within the economics professionÑthey are asking: how can we have a more pluralistic economics profession? This paper argues that another, perhaps more useful, way to think of pluralism and economics is from the perspective of all the social sciences. When looked in reference to the social science profession rather than in reference to the economics profession, the amount of pluralism increases significantly, since different social sciences follow quite different methodologies. But looking at pluralism from the social science perspective reveals a different type of pluralism problem in social science. While there may be plenty of pluralism within social science as a whole, there is a serious question about whether it is appropriately distributed. This paper argues that heterodox economistÕs agenda should be a greater blending of all the social science departments. It summarizes proposals to do so on both the undergraduate level and graduate level, and explains why supporting variations of these proposals would be a strategy that would further the objectives of most heterodox economists more so than would their current strategy of pushing for more pluralism in economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Dave Colander, 2011. "The Wrong Type of Pluralism: Toward a Transdisciplinary Social Science," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1102, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:1102
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/1102.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Zimmermann, 2013. "Academic Rankings with RePEc," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, December.
    2. David Colander & Richard Holt & Barkley Rosser, 2004. "The changing face of mainstream economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 485-499.
    3. 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.
    4. Terry Plum & David Colander, 2004. "Efficiency, Journal Publishing and Scholarly Research - A Discussion Paper," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0414, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    5. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 1993. "American and European Economics and Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 185-193, Fall.
    7. Colander, David, 1989. "Research on the Economics Profession," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 137-148, Fall.
    8. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Mamuneas, Theofanis P. & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "European economics: An analysis based on publications in the core journals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1150-1168, April.
    9. David Colander, 2008. "The Making of a Global European Economist," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 215-236, May.
    10. Frey, Bruno S & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1992. "Economics and Economists: A European Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 216-220, May.
    11. David Colander & Hugo Nopo Key Words: Latin American economics, global economics, political economy, graduate training, Latin America, applied economics, 2007. "The Making of a Latin American Global Economist," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0705, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    12. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pluralism; heterodox; social science; epistemic game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches

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