January 29, 2015

Wanted: The True Theory

Comment on Lars Syll on 'Economics curriculum reformulation'

Blog-Reference and parallel Blog-Reference

You write: “We should demand more of our economics textbooks.”

Yes, the true economic theory: “In order to tell the politicians and practitioners something about causes and best means, the economist needs the true theory or else he has not much more to offer than educated common sense or his personal opinion.” (Stigum, 1991, p. 30)

Heterodoxy has made abundantly clear that Orthodoxy is a failed approach. As Steve Keen resumed:  “So the textbooks are wrong.” (2011, p. 19)

This is consensus, however, there is a strong feeling that something is missing: “As will become evident, there is more agreement on the defects of orthodox theory than there is on what theory is to replace it: but all agreed that the point of the criticism is to clear the ground for construction.” (Nell, 1980, p. 1)

Heterodoxy has shown what is wrong. Now it is of some interest to learn what is right. Appeals for interdisciplinary work and pluralism are always readily accepted. But running through open doors is not enough.

To develop the scientifically valid replacement of Orthodoxy is the task of Constructive Heterodoxy. Two pivotal contributions to the new curriculum are ready for adoption (2015b; 2015a).

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Kakarot-Handtke, E. (2015a). Essentials of Constructive Heterodoxy: Say’s Law. SSRN Working Paper Series, 2556434: 1–10. URL
Kakarot-Handtke, E. (2015b). Essentials of Constructive Heterodoxy: The Market. SSRN Working Paper Series, 2547098: 1–10. URL
Keen, S. (2011). Debunking Economics. London, New York: Zed Books, rev. edition.
Nell, E. J. (1980). Growth, Profits, and Property, chapter Cracks in the Neoclassical
Mirror: On the Break-Up of a Vision, pages 1–16. Cambridge, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Stigum, B. P. (1991). Toward a Formal Science of Economics: The Axiomatic Method in Economics and Econometrics. Cambridge: MIT Press.

See also the synopsis 'Textbooks: Learning without understanding' on AXEC.org.