Wednesday, 11 June 2014

There are alternatives

More on the lack of public support from CORE for the student letter, calling for 'more open, diverse and pluralist economics'. However,the student letter has been signed by a diverse group of academics and economists (see below). 
This was sent to the FT on 3rd June but not published, hence the Blog.


Dr Alvin Birdi’s hope that the CORE curriculum will ‘prioritise empirically important questions’ is welcome. However, he is wrong to dismiss criticism from those outside the project as ‘off the mark and unhelpful’.  Dr Hugh Goodacre’s is not the only dissenting voice; Kate Raworth thinks that ‘to be honest I don’t feel it [CORE] bodes well’ and Ha-Joon Chang and Jonathan Aldred write that ‘teaching undergraduates economics as a series of interconnected debates at best risks needlessly confusing students and at worst actively misleading them...this is unfortunately the view taken by a leading group of curriculum reformers among mainstream economists – the CORE project group’.

There are occasions when CORE members engage with those on the outside calling for alternatives. Andy Haldane wrote a supportive foreword to the report by students at Post-Crash Manchester, but they were dismissed by Diane Coyle as failing to ‘recognise the breadth of the courses available’ and by Simon Wren-Lewis as being 'fundamentally misguided’.

More generally, the CORE steering group and CORE contributors appear united in their dismissal of alternative curricula: not a single one appears to have signed the ISIPE open letter. Surely someone from CORE has an encouraging word for the students? After all, the letter is signed by a diverse group of academics and economists, many of whom leave helpful comments: Ann Pettifor, Stephanie Blankenberg, Molly Scott Cato, Robert Pollin, Michael Ash, Achim Truger, Arne Heise, Doyne Farmer, Thomas Piketty, Lord Robert Skidelsky, Alan Kirman, Ha-Joon Chang, James Galbraith, Peter Mooslechner, Lars P. Syll, Victoria Chick, Geoffrey Harcourt, Marc Lavoie, Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Sheila Dow, John Komlos, Paul Davidson, Steve Keen, Engelbert Stockhammer, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Matheus Grasselli, Gary Dymski, John Weeks, Ken Binmore, Malcolm Sawyer, Mathew Forstater, Ozlem Onaran, Stephen Fazzari, Sheri Markose, Tae-Hee Jo, Thomas Palley and Yuval Millo. 

Best regards,
Neil Lancastle

Postgraduate student in finance and economics, University of Leicester