New blog post: Why so Hostile? Busting Myths about Heterodox Economics

Carolina Alves and I unpack misunderstandings about Heterodox Economics in our recent blog post on Developing Economics:

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By Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven and Carolina Alves

“Economics is unique among the social sciences in having a single monolithic mainstream, which is either unaware of or actively hostile to alternative approaches.” (John King 2013: 17)

What does heterodox economics mean? Is the label helpful or harmful? Being outside of the mainstream of the Economics discipline, the way we position ourselves may be particularly important. For this reason, many around us shun the use of the term “heterodox” and advise against using it. However, we believe the reluctance to use the term stems in part from misunderstandings of (and sometimes disagreement over) what the term means and perhaps disagreements over strategies for how to change the discipline.

In other words, this is an important debate about both identification and strategy. In this blog, we wish to raise the issue in heterodox and mainstream circles, by busting a few common myths about Heterodox Economics – mostly stemming from the orthodoxy. This is a small part of a larger project on defining heterodox economics.

Read more here.

The post has also been re-published by Union for Radical Political Economics and the Monthly Review. It has also been translated to Spanish (see here).

Letter in the Financial Times & an Alternative Economics Summer reading List

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Earlier this month, I published a letter in the Financial Times with Carolina Alves, Besiana Balla and Devika Dutt (July 17th, 2018). The letter was a reaction the lack of diversity in Martin Wolf’s summer reading list in the FT. His reading list consisted of only authors based in either the UK or the US, 12 out of 13 of the authors were men, and most of them were writing within the so-called mainstream of the profession. We were therefore compelled to put together our own list in order to show that heterodox, female and/or non-Western scholars also do publish high quality work – although it tends to go unnoticed due to the biases in our field. So, we put together this Alternative Economics Summer Reading List (published on Developing Economics).

It was Martin’s response (see here for the full exchange) to my comment under his list that finally inspired us to write a letter to the FT. In our letter, we urge Martin to be explicit about his biases when publishing such reading lists, as many FT readers might be misled into thinking that his lists represent the breadth of the field.

The letter went on to become the most read FT Letter of the week.

New blog: Developing Economics

Last month, I created the Developing Economics blog. This blog takes a critical approach to development economics and seeks to stimulate debate and critical reflection among academics and practitioners from all relevant fields. I decided to create this platform after noticing that although there are a lot of great blogs on heterodox economics and on international development, there is no blog devoted to the specific niche of heterodox/critical thinking on economic development.

The blog is meant to be hub for critical thinking (not just my opinions), so please get in touch should you want to contribute to the blog! Many excellent guest bloggers have already contributed.

You can also follow the blog on Twitter and like it on Facebook.