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The Economists of Tomorrow

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  • Freeman, Alan

Abstract

This paper is a prepublication version of a submission to the International Review of Economics Education. It outlines a code of conduct for economics, in the form of a pluralist benchmark for Quality Assurance in economics education. This is a necessary corrective to the publicly-recognised failure of economics in the face of the 2008 crisis, which Colander et al (2009 term its “systemic failure”. This systemic failure is analysed as a consequence of the regulatory capture of the academic profession of economics, arising from and institutionalised by its present peer ranking procedures. Pluralism is the necessary antidote. It affords two decisive benefits: it produces good economics and better economists. The paper is part of a broad consultation on teaching in economics, organised by the UK-based Association for Heterodox Economists (AHE). It argues that a pluralist subject benchmark, derived from a pluralist code of conduct, is a prerequisite for the reform of the profession. Critical, pluralistic and independent thinking should be the primary requirement good economic practice, and pecific provisions should be made to recognise, promote, defend and guarantee this good practice in teaching and assessment alike. Systemic failure requires a systemic solution. The paper explains how the built-in tendency of the economic profession to select for conformity has led to its regulatory capture. Existing UK benchmarks have substituted peer-ranking – the appointment of judges selected for comformity – for collaborative peer review – the pluralistic integration of the strengths of the academic community. This past practice has become institutionalised at every level. The profoundly non-scientific practice of simply reproducing a politically acceptable consensus has thereby replaced the independent and critical pursuit of knowledge as the primary peer-recognised hallmark of quality. Tomorrow’s economists need to be defended against the systemic failure of the economics of today. This requires a conscious regulatory intervention – benchmarking for pluralism.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 2009. "The Economists of Tomorrow," MPRA Paper 15691, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15691
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. COLANDER & al., 2010. "The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 6.
    2. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anup Dash, 2016. "An Epistemological Reflection on Social and Solidarity Economy," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 61-87, February.
    2. Martin Kniepert, 2014. "Die (Neue) Institutionenökonomik als Ansatz für einen erweiterten, offeneren Zugang zur Volkswirtschaftslehre," Working Papers 552014, Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
    3. Bögenhold, Dieter, 2013. "Soziologie und Ökonomik: Betrachtungen über Konvergenzen und Divergenzen
      [Sociology and Economics: Convergencies and Divergencies]
      ," MPRA Paper 52097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Freeman, Alan, 2011. "Association for Heterodox Economics Submission to UK Science and Technology Parliamentary Select Committee on peer review," MPRA Paper 64702, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Mar 2011.
    5. Alan Freeman, 2009. "The Economists of Tomorrow: the Case for a Pluralist Subject Benchmark Statement for Economics," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(2), pages 23-40.
    6. Robert F. Garnett, Jr., 2009. "Rethinking The Pluralist Agenda In Economics Education," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(2), pages 58-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics Teaching; Pluralism; Heterodox Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists

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