This book from the World Economics Association (WEA) – edited by me and Jack Reardon and supported throughout by Grazia Ietto-Gillies – originated with a successful WEA online conference. The volume has been conceived with current and future economics students in mind: they will be the economists of the future.
One of the main ideas underlining the book is that “being an economist” in the XXI century requires a radical change in the training of economists and such change requires a global effort. A new economics curriculum is needed in order to improve the understanding of the deep interactions between economics and the political forces and the historical processes of social change. The need for trans-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is highlighted.
None of us can change economics education on our own. It is within the spirit of global effort at fundamental change in economics education that this book directly contributes to rethinking economics but also lead to direct change in the economics curriculum. The objective is to discuss issues such as: What are the some of the main critiques of current practices on theory, methods and structures? Which are the current gaps in economics curriculum? What is missing in the current economics curriculum? What economics major should know?
The call for reform has been eloquently and persuasively made by the contributors- Nicola Acocella, Sheila Dow, David Hemenway, Arturo Hermann, Grazia Ietto-Gillies,Maria Alejandra Madi, Lars Pålsson Syll, Constantine Passaris, Paul Ormerod, Jack Reardon, Alessando Roncaglia, Asad Zaman- and this volume represents one small step in the call to action.
After the Introduction that lays the background and conceptual foundation for the rest of the book, Part Two includes contributions related to the evidence on what is wrong with the existing economics education. The objective is to discuss issues such as: What are the some of the main critiques of current practices on theory, methods and structures?. Part Three includes contributions related to what is missing in the current economics curriculum. The aim is to identify and suggest solutions for current gaps in the curriculum. This part addresses specific areas: varieties of methodologies, history of economic thought, modern economies and firms, finance and economic policy. Finally, Part Four – emphasizes what economics major should know and the need for trans-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work.
Indeed, this book from the WEA is concerned about the need to engage on multiple fronts with simultaneous entry points with as many people as possible from all parts of the globe. We hope the book will stimulate further debate by both students and professional economists – whether academics or not – on how to progress towards a new economics curriculum.