November 2011

At Home in Economics

My friend read somewhere that the experience of death makes people think in philosophical terms. He might have thought of religion rather than philosophy, I replied. We agreed, and wandered off talking about our crypto-religious experiences in good old secular Europe. On my way back home, however, I wondered: what then makes people think in scientific terms? If it’s true that science can meet similar needs as religion does – for how else could some perceive a conflict between the two – one might ask: does the experience of death trigger an interest in science?

During my recent preparations for my history of economics class, I indeed stumbled over several people that entered the annals of economics and had rather difficult personal lives: Read more

Student discontent, teaching economics, and Robin Wells's suggestions for shifting our perspective: A historical case

On November 2nd, some Harvard undergraduate students walked out of Greg Mankiw's introductory economics course and wrote an open letter criticizing the biases inherent in the current teaching of economics.

On November 2nd, I was sitting in the Hayden Library Special Collection reading room at MIT, browsing archives on the undergraduate and graduate students' discontent during the early 70s and the response of the economics department faculty. Read more

Does econ blogging open new conversations (part II): lessons from Mike Konczal, Noah Smith, Mark Thoma and Milton Friedman

The INET roundtable on “new conversations and the academy” took place a week ago. Most panelists were bloggers, including Mike Konczal from RortyBomb and Noah Smith from Noahopinion. Read more

Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman: How can history stimulate new economic thinking?

[The following text was sent to us by Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman, we reproduce it in its entirety.] Read more

Backhouse and Bateman want Worldly Philosophers, not only dentists; not everyone agrees

Professors Roger Backhouse and Brad Bateman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times a few days ago, arguing that "thanks to decades of academic training in the “dentistry” approach to economics, today’s Keynes or Friedman is nowhere to be found" - we have stopped thinking big they say. Read more

Does Economics blogging open new conversations ? (Part I)

This is the question I'm supposed to answer for an experimental INET conference aimed at inspiring new thinking through interdisciplinary conversation and collective reflection without rules. Read more