The Seeming Monolith of Economic Theory As Taught at a Typical Economics Department

It is not only the world economy that is in crisis. The teaching of economics is in crisis too, and this crisis has consequences far beyond the university walls.

Thus begins the open letter of the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics. As a former student of economics, I can only subscribe to that statement. Economics as a discipline (seemingly) does not offer much diversity of approaches. But economics curricula at most universities are even worse: they do not display even this bit of diversity that does exist. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why I started writing The Sceptical Economist more than four years ago. Continue reading

How Much Education Is Good?

A common demand of Greens and Leftists* in many conutries is that access to higher education should be eased so that wider parts of the population could enjoy it. Indeed, within inter-country comparisons of the quality of education systems, the share of young people enjoying higher education is seen as a positive variable (indicating, e.g., that the Polish educational system is, at least in one respect, better than its German counterpart). But is this a sensible view of education? Could it be that there is some optimal level of education (from the point of view of the society)? If yes: how much education is good? Continue reading