Summary of Rethinking Economics

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Recommendation

While the 2008 financial crisis seemed to overturn the assumptions and accepted wisdom of mainstream economics, most study material in the field continues to focus on the traditional neoclassical theories. Some university students in Britain became disillusioned with their course’s syllabus, so they came together to form an organization, Rethinking Economics, to try to broaden economic study. This enlightening book, which delves into nine alternative economic schools of thought, is one result. The anthology could have used more color and links from the nine areas to contemporary issues, but even without such add-ons, students and instructors of the dismal science will find this text a valuable and refreshing step toward improving education in economics.

About the Authors

Lillian Fisher et al. are associated with Rethinking Economics, formed to create greater diversity in the teaching of economics at British universities.

 

Summary

Mainstream neoclassical economics has its merits, but nine alternative schools of economic thought offer valuable insights.

Many people believe that the way universities teach economics is too narrow in its scope and too focused on neoclassical, free market ideology. Nine alternative schools of thought could counter that overreliance. Some of these directly challenge the standard economic model (SEM) in its central tenets, and all highlight areas neglected by conventional economics.

Post-Keynesian economics identifies the dangers of financial market excess combined with easy money creation.

Post-Keynesian (PK) economists contend that the so-called New Keynesians who came along after John Maynard Keynes ignored many of the important points he made. PK economists do not accept the neoclassical-Keynesian synthesis concept of “sticky” wages as responsible for unemployment during economic slumps. Instead, they want to return to understanding the dangers of downward spiraling aggregate demand and confidence.While New Keynesian ideas developed during the post-World War II period, when the financial...


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