Economics students revolt against being force-fed with neoclassical mumbo jumbo

4 Nov, 2013 at 15:47 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments

Rethinking econ_0

The world has changed, the syllabus hasn’t – is it time to do something about it?

Rethinking Economics is a network of young economics students, thinkers and writers who are organising to create fresh economic narratives to challenge and enrich the predominant neoclassical narrative.

We aim to demystify and diversify economics in the public eye; to educate ourselves and other students in a more reflective economics; to inspire divergent economists to engage with one another in debate; and to promote a politics of responsibility with academic economists.
The Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism (CSEP) is run by a dedicated group of students united by the belief that progress in the discipline of economics will be driven by an increasingly interdisciplinary approach and a pluralist platform in the 21st century.  CSEP aims to enrich the understanding of economic thought within the Cambridge community and promote alternative views on conventional economic thought as well as current affairs in an innovative discussion format.
We are The Post-Crash Economics Society and we are a group of economics students at The University of Manchester who believe that the content of the economics syllabus and the way it is taught could and should be seriously rethought.

We were inspired to start this society when we heard about a Bank of England Conference called ‘Are Economics Graduates Fit for Purpose?’ At this event leading economists from the public and private sphere came together to discuss whether economics undergraduates were being taught the right things in the light of the 2008 Financial Crisis. This chimed with some of our frustrations about the economics we were learning and so we decided to set up a society that would through doing research, organising events and running workshops seek to bring this discussion to Manchester. That was at the start of the 2012/13 academic year.


  1. Problem is that if the folk at Cambridge and Manchester get the typical economics course changed in the way they want, a host of academic time wasters will jump on the band wagon with a view to furthering their careers. They’ll produce papers and books which disobey the ten commandments (see below). I.e. for example, they’ll “worship complexity” because complexity keeps them employed.

    The net result will be that the new “Cambridge and Manchester” style of economics will be reduced to the nonsense that is “neoclassical mumbo jumbo”.

    Or perhaps I’m too cynical.

    • Well, maybe you’re right — but sometimes one also has to be prepared to take the proverbial “leap of faith” 🙂

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