Challenging Mainstream Economics

I found the video below posted on Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw's blog. The lecture captured in the video is a teach-in, and is an extension of the "Occupy Harvard" protest which started a few weeks back.

For purposes of this post, the most notable facet of that ongoing protest was the walk-out of the aforementioned Professor Mankiw's Principles of Economics class. The walk-out was staged to protest the class's mainstream economics curriculum, which some say verges on fundamentalist. In reaction to this concern, Steve Marglin was brought in to challenge the orthodox approach taken by Mankiw as well as many others around the world.

While I can agree that mainstream economics and economists leave something to be desired, I would argue that the best way to debunk or counter orthodoxies is to understand them (a point Mankiw makes as well). Therefore, I believe that the walk-out was a bit pointless and inefficient, but I am sure its participants would disagree with my definitions and/or use of both adjectives.

In any case, the lecture below is reminiscent of some I have attended in the past, and I can say that, though none of them have influenced me too heavily, they did provide an opportunity for me to look at things from different perspectives. And that is never a bad thing in my book.

No comments:

Post a Comment