Join the Call To Promote Open Economic Debate at Notre Dame

by Chris Sturr | May 05, 2008

A group of students at Notre Dame are campaigning to broaden the ideological scope of the economics department there. According to their open letter

At Notre Dame, economics is divided into two separate departments: “The Department of Economics and Econometrics, which is a neoclassical economics department committed to rigorous theoretical and quantitative analysis in teaching and research,” and The Department of Economics and Policy studies, which is committed to “issues relating to socioeconomic justice and ethics,” “openness to alternative methodological approaches,” and the “roles of history and institutions” in the “broader political economy.” It is our fear that, in pursuit of higher department rankings, Notre Dame will sacrifice the latter department in favor of the former.

In other words, we oppose a situation in which neoclassical economic theory is taught to the exclusion of other theories. This tendency is already apparent in the one-sidedness of economics majors at our University. The required courses – introductory/intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, statistics, and econometrics – are all typically taught using only mainstream theory. It is alarming that a student could easily graduate from Notre Dame with a degree in Economics, having never questioned the basic assumptions of or been presented with plausible alternatives to neoclassical economics.

You can read the full letter and sign the petition here.

Dollars & Sense covered a similar struggle by undergrads at Harvard a few years ago. Look here for a list of progressive economics teaching resources. And please check out all of D&S‘s fantastic economics textbooks and readers.

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