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To be a good economist, one cannot only be an economist

To be a good economist, one cannot only be an economist – Lars Syll

Economics students today are complaining more and more about the way economics is taught. The lack of fundamental diversity – not just path- dependent elaborations of the main- stream canon – and narrowing of the curriculum, dissatisfy econ students all over the world. The frustrating lack of real world relevance has led many of them to demand the discipline to start develop a more open and pluralistic theoretical and methodological attitude.

There are many things about the way economics is taught today that worry me. Today’s students are force-fed with mainstream neoclassical theories and models. That lack of pluralism is cause for serious concern.

However, I find the most salient deficiency in ‘modern’ economics education in the total absence of courses in the history of economic thought and economic methodology. That is deeply worrying since a science that doesn’t self-reflect and ask important methodological and theoretical questions about the own activity, is in dire straits.

Methodology is about how we do economics, how we evaluate theories, models and arguments. To know and think about methodology is important for every economist. Without methodological awareness it’s really impossible to understand what you are doing and why you’re doing it. Methodology is a necessary and vital part of science.

Source: Real World Econ Rev, 21 Mar 2017 https://rwer.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/to-be-a-good-economist-one-cannot-only-be-an-economist/

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