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Greg Mankiw's Econ Class: An Update

Click here to read an open letter from students in Greg Mankiw's Econ class.  It appears that they are dissatisfied with the focus and underlying worldview of the module.  Economics has long been regarded as the dismal science, but given the inability of economists to forecast the Great Crash of 2008, it is in danger of being viewed as an irrelevant science. 

There is, however, a more sinister view regarding economists.   Charles Hickson, my mentor and former colleague, lambasts the economics profession in the introduction to his 2001 book with the late Earl Thompson.  He suggests that economists simply serve the elite of society by devising theories and models that justify the elite's laws and policies.  In other words, economists have sold out, and have, in the process, lost their integrity.

Which is it?  Dismal, irrelevant or corrupted science?  Unfortunately, it is probably all three.  In my humble opinion any resuscitation will involve a revival of interest in institutions, political economy, and history.  In addition, the preoccupation and near obsession with mathematical modelling needs to be addressed.  Maybe some young Econs reading this post will help resuscitate the discipline of economics and help rejuvenate the economics curriculum.    

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