Introduction to the Directory

Introduction to the Directory

Preface

Preface to the 6th edition

The Heterodox Economics Directory is an informal guide to heterodox economics and aims to document the institutional diversity and breadth of the heterodox economic community within academia. It delivers a hardly dispensable service: to connect various strands of heterodox engagement and to provide an overview of activities in heterodox economics around the globe.

In doing so, the Heterodox Economics Directory has become a valuable tool for students, researchers, practitioners and interested laypeople. The Directory provides students and instructors with an overview on heterodox study programs and related teaching material. Additionally, the Directory covers a set of materials dedicated to (aspiring) researchers in heterodox economics and related fields, such as academic journals open for heterodox research, publishers interested in drafts for books in heterodox economics, regular and important conference and summer-schools related as well as scientific associations dedicated to heterodox economics.

If you simply want to get some first impression of what heterodox economics is, you may instead turn to our introductory section or, maybe, to our collection of web-based resources. In such a case I would also recommend to subscribe to the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, which covers current information on heterodox economics on a regular basis.

The Heterodox Economics Directory was first published in 2005 and compiled by Fred Lee, Steve Cohn, Goeffrey Schneider, and Paddy Quick. In turn Fred Lee significantly extended the original version of this Directory and published a third edition in 2008, before Tae-Hee Jo took over editorial duties, updated the Directory and published revised and extended versions in 2011 and 2012.

This sixth edition of the Newsletter comes shortly past its eleventh anniversary. As its editorial team, we obviously stand on the shoulders of giants and tried to update and complement the contents of the Directory.

Any feedback and suggestion regarding the Directory are highly welcome and should be sent to newsletter@heterodoxnews.com.

Jakob Kapeller and Florian Springholz
March 2016

Prefaces to former editions

Preface to the 1st and 2nd edition

Informational Directory for Heterodox Economists (hereafter, Directory) was first published in January 2005 by Fred Lee, Steve Cohn, Goeffrey Schenider, and Paddy Quick. The same editors published an updated edition of the Directory in May 2005. The third edition (August 2008), edited by Fred Lee, was significantly expanded with new sections on Introduction to Heterodox Economics, and many heterodox-oriented websites and institutions.

The Directory together with Heterodox Economics Newsletter has been a valuable resource for heterodox economists and students around the world. It has made a remarkable contribution to the making of more cohesive and friendly community of heterodox economists. To continue the tradition set by former editors and to make it even more informative, I have updated the Directory. The fourth edition has incorporated not only new information announced in the issues of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter published between September 2008 and December 2010, but also many contributions by heterodox economists.

The first two chapters of the Directory are devoted to heterodox economics programs. In this edition, 40 heterodox graduate programs and 56 undergraduate programs are listed. I believe there are still more heterodox economics programs around the world. If your heterodox department is not listed here, let us (and others) know. The chapter on heterodox journals now includes all 62 major heterodox journals identified in the recent study by Lee and Cronin (2010) as well as other interdisciplinary and popular journals (total 151 journals). In the following chapter, the list of publishers and book series has been expanded (31 publishers and 29 book series). In the penultimate chapter, heterodox associations, blogs, institutes and other websites are listed with many new additions. The final chapter, 100 Words on Heterodox Economics, is new to this edition. This chapter was part of 100th issue of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter (May 2010). To celebrate the 100th issue of the Newsletter, Editors asked about 100 heterodox economists around the world, representing their school of thought, institution, association, country, or region, about the current state and future of heterodox economics. Although the response rate was low, we received very interesting and enlightening responses from prominent heterodox economists. Young heterodox economists, in particular, should listen to what old heterodox economists are saying about the current and future of heterodox economics.

Lastly, I owe thanks to Nicola Matthews, my first graduate student at Buffalo State College and now a doctoral student at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Without her assistance this edition couldn t be completed.

Tae-Hee Jo

Footnote: * Lee, F.S. and B.C. Cronin (2010), “Research Quality Rankings of Heterodox Economic Journals in a Contested Discipline,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 69(5): November 2010, pp. 1049-1452.

Preface to the 3rd edition

The initial impetus for producing the Informational Directory for Heterodox Economists in 2004 was to bring together the community of heterodox economists that was dispersed, far-flung, and segmented. Four years later the community is significantly more cohesive, but the information contained in the Directory is still quite useful for heterodox economists; hence this new edition. As noted in the first edition, the future of heterodox economics depends on graduate programs since this is where future heterodox economists are trained and developed. Thus it is vitally important to know which graduate programs around the world produce heterodox economists in order to direct interested undergraduates to them as well as to hire their graduates. From the first edition onward the number of such programs has increased from 22 to 31 to 36. On the other hand, many heterodox economists teach in departments that only have undergraduate programs in economics. Identifying these departments where heterodox economics has a role in the undergraduate economics program are important for two reasons. The first is that they do provide important and significant support for the development of heterodox economics and the community of heterodox economists. Without these departments, heterodox economics would be much worse off if indeed it existed at all. Secondly, since these departments provide a friendly and supportive environment in which one can engage in teaching and doing research on heterodox economics, it is important that all young and old heterodox economists know of their existence. In short, departments with just undergraduate programs in economics are just as differently important as the departments with graduate programs. The first edition of the Directory did not include undergraduate departments, but the second edition did 47 of them; and in this edition 51 are listed.

It is through journal, books, and other publications that the ideas and arguments of the various heterodox approaches are articulated, developed, and popularized. In the first edition 84 journals and by this edition the number has increased to 124. Heterodox associations, organizations, and research institutes also use e-based newsletters to make their activities better and more widely known and accessible. Although e-based newsletters have existed for many years, this category of publication, with ten entries, appears for the first time in this edition of the Directory. Moreover, thirteen heterodox book series were listed in the first edition and by this edition the number has increased to 24 respectively. Book series are associated with publishers and publishers that take a particular interest in publishing books on heterodox economics and of interest to heterodox economists may not have heterodox book series per se. Therefore a new category is introduced, that of publishers, which has 31 entries.

The web provides the opportunity to make information available to all heterodox economists easily. In the previous editions of the Directory, use of web-linked material was limited to the Heterodox Economics Website (http://www.afee.net). Since web-based information relevant to heterodox economists is so massive, the Directory can no longer ignore it. Therefore it has included three new categories: heterodox associations, which have 33 entries with web links (with the exception of two); heterodox/progressive blogs with six entries; and institutes and other websites with 55 entries.

When the previous editions of the Directory were published, I received numerous communications pointing out various omissions, one being a brief overview of heterodox economics. This is now corrected with an introductory chapter on heterodox economics. Still, there will be omissions that need redressing. So if you have any suggestions of how to improve it or of material that should be included, please e-mail me at leefs@umkc.edu.

The production of the third edition of the Directory is made possible through the collective contributions from heterodox economists around the world and through the financial support from Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (http://www.fph.ch).

Fred Lee
September 2008

Preface to the 4th edition

Informational Directory for Heterodox Economists (hereafter, Directory) was first published in January 2005 by Fred Lee, Steve Cohn, Goeffrey Schenider, and Paddy Quick. The same editors published an updated edition of the Directory in May 2005. The third edition (August 2008), edited by Fred Lee, was significantly expanded with new sections on Introduction to Heterodox Economics, and many heterodox-oriented websites and institutions.

The Directory together with Heterodox Economics Newsletter has been a valuable resource for heterodox economists and students around the world. It has made a remarkable contribution to the making of more cohesive and friendly community of heterodox economists. To continue the tradition set by former editors and to make it even more informative, I have updated the Directory. The fourth edition has incorporated not only new information announced in the issues of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter published between September 2008 and December 2010, but also many contributions by heterodox economists.

The first two chapters of the Directory are devoted to heterodox economics programs. In this edition, 40 heterodox graduate programs and 56 undergraduate programs are listed. I believe there are still more heterodox economics programs around the world. If your heterodox department is not listed here, let us (and others) know. The chapter on heterodox journals now includes all 62 major heterodox journals identified in the recent study by Lee and Cronin (2010) as well as other interdisciplinary and popular journals (total 151 journals). In the following chapter, the list of publishers and book series has been expanded (31 publishers and 29 book series). In the penultimate chapter, heterodox associations, blogs, institutes and other websites are listed with many new additions. The final chapter, 100 Words on Heterodox Economics, is new to this edition. This chapter was part of 100th issue of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter (May 2010). To celebrate the 100th issue of the Newsletter, Editors asked about 100 heterodox economists around the world, representing their school of thought, institution, association, country, or region, about the current state and future of heterodox economics. Although the response rate was low, we received very interesting and enlightening responses from prominent heterodox economists. Young heterodox economists, in particular, should listen to what old heterodox economists are saying about the current and future of heterodox economics.

Lastly, I owe thanks to Nicola Matthews, my first graduate student at Buffalo State College and now a doctoral student at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Without her assistance this edition couldn t be completed.

Tae-Hee Jo

Footnote: * Lee, F.S. and B.C. Cronin (2010), “Research Quality Rankings of Heterodox Economic Journals in a Contested Discipline,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 69(5): November 2010, pp. 1049-1452.

Preface to the 5th edition

Since its first edition published in 2005, the Heterodox Economics Directory has been utilized widely for a variety of purposes; to wit, students find a heterodox economics program to pursue their study, job candidates look for a heterodox-friendly department, researchers choose a suitable journal, book series, or publishing house to publish their work, and many heterodox economists explore organizations, institutes, and other social networks to engage in various activities through. Some heterodox economists have also used or referred to the Directory in their research on heterodox economics.1

Thus I believe the Directory, together with the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, has become an indispensable medium that connects geographically dispersed heterodox economists, that facilitates communication between different theoretical traditions in heterodox economics, that increases the visibility of heterodox economics, and that promotes the growth and reproduction of heterodox economics. Evidently the growing number of entries included in this edition of the Directory indicates that the community of heterodox economists has been growing. Moreover, the interest in heterodox economics has been growing as well. Data shows that the Directory was viewed 926 times and downloaded 321 times in November 2012 only. Not only to make the Directory more useful, but also to incorporate a number of changes took place for the past two years in our community, the 5th edition has been updated and expanded significantly. Introduction to Heterodox Economics (Ch. 1) has been revised. 100 Words on Heterodox Economics (Ch. 2) has been expanded by including 11 new entries i.e., Randy Albelda, Cyrus Bina, Lynne Chester, Paul Davidson, David Dequech, William Dugger, Mathew Forstater, Neva Goodwin, Marc Lavoie, Robert Prasch, and Paolo Ramazzotti. The number of heterodox graduate programs (Ch. 3), both Ph.D. and Master s, has increased from 40 to 61. The number of undergraduate programs (Ch. 4) now reaches 60 (to my knowledge, still there are many other programs that are not included in this edition). Chapter 5 lists most of the heterodox and heterodox-friendly journals by category 66 Generalist, 8 in the field of Development, Technical Change, and Growth, 13 in History of Economics and Methodology, 3 in Industrial Economics, 57 interdisciplinary journals, and 12 popular journals. In the same chapter, 27 Newsletters and Working Papers are listed with short descriptions. Chapter 6 includes 1) all the active heterodox associations around the world (currently 38), 2) 86 research centers and institutes, and 3) many heterodox blogs and websites. The list of publishing houses and their book series are listed in Chapter 7. Last two chapters are new to this edition. Chapter 8 is Major Works on Heterodox Economics since 2000, which includes books, journal special issues, and articles/book chapters on heterodox economics. The main purpose of this chapter is to help acquaint non-heterodox economists or students with heterodox economics. To this end, the recent works dealing with heterodox economics, broadly defined, are selected, while those related to a particular heterodox school of thought are not included. The last chapter is Rankings of Heterodox Schools and Journals, which appeared in the November 2010 issue of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

In addition to this new print edition, a new website for the Directory has been created. Its web address is http://heterodoxnews.com/hed. I hope that it is easier for people to find relevant information by surfing this site. One section that appears only in the web edition is Reviews. This is the collection of book/article reviews published in the various issues of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter.

Given the fact that the Directory is read by many young and emerging heterodox economists, I would like to close this preface by quoting William M. Dugger s advice for young heterodox economists, which is part of Dugger s 100 Words on Heterodox Economics.

Have fun. Pursue peace, love, equality, abundance and nonviolence. Read Thoreau. Turn Green. Read Veblen. Turn Red. Read Marx. Turn Scarlet. Read Kropotkin. Turn anti-authoritarian. Write your own stuff. Smile and tell the truth. Get up and do it again.

Tae-Hee Jo
December 24, 2012

Footnote 1: For example, Reynold F. Nesiba. 2012. What do undergraduate study in heterodox economics programs? An examination of the curricular structure at 36 self-identified programs, On the Horizon, 20(3): August 2012. Andrew Mearman. 2012. Heterodox economics and the problems of classification, Journal of Economic Methodology, 19(4): December 2012. Marc Lavoie. 2011. History and Methods of Post-Keynesian Economics, in A Modern Guide to Keynesian Macroeconomics and Economic Policies, edited by Eckhard Hein and Elgelbert Stockhammer, Edward Elgar.

Introduction to Heterodox Economics

Introduction to Heterodox Economics

Heterodox economics refers to economic theories and communities of economists that are in various ways an alternative to mainstream economics. It is a multi-level term that refers to a body of economic theories developed by economists who hold an irreverent position vis-à-vis mainstream economics and are typically rejected out of hand by the latter; to a community of heterodox economists whom identify themselves as such and embrace a pluralistic attitude towards heterodox theories without rejecting contestability and incommensurability among heterodox theories; and to the development of a coherent economic theory that draws upon various theoretical contributions by heterodox approaches which stand in contrast to mainstream theory. Thus, this introduction to heterodox economics is organized as follows: the first section outlines the emergence of heterodox economics in the sense of a body of heterodox theories; the second deals with heterodox economics as a pluralist community of heterodox economists; the third section situates heterodox economics relative to mainstream economics; and the fourth section delineates heterodox economics in terms of theory and policy.

Heterodox Economics as a group of heterodox theories

Heterodox as an identifier of an economic theory and/or economist that stands in some form of dissent relative to mainstream economics was used within the Institutionalist literature from the 1930s to the 1980s. Clarence E. Ayres (1936), for example, made a clear distinction between heterodoxy and orthodoxy: [T]he heterodox economists have proposed to substitute the study of economic institutions for the study of wants, satisfaction, and the wonderful contrivance of human nature as made manifest in the equilibrium prices (p. 234). Then in 1987, Allan Gruchy used heterodox economics to identify Institutional as well as Marxian and Post Keynesian theories as ones that stood in contrast to mainstream theory. By the 1990s, it became obvious that there were a number of theoretical approaches that stood, to some degree, in opposition to mainstream theory. These heterodox approaches included Austrian economics, feminist economics, Institutional-evolutionary economics, Marxian-radical economics, Post Keynesian and Sraffian economics, and social economics; however, it was not possible to use any of the names of the various heterodox approaches to represent them collectively. Thus, terms, such as non-traditional, non-orthodox, non-neoclassical, non-mainstream, were used to collectively represent them, but they did not have the right intellectual feel or a positive ring. Moreover, some thought that political economy (or heterodox political economy; see, for example, Forstarter in Chapter 2, Section 15) could be used as the collective term, but its history of being another name for Marxian-radical economics (and its current reference to mainstream public choice theory) made this untenable. Therefore, to capture the commonality of the various theoretical approaches in a positive light without prejudicially favoring any one approach, a descriptive term that had a pluralist big-tent feel combined with being unattached to a particular approach was needed. Hence, heterodox became increasingly used throughout the 1990s in contexts where it implicitly and/or explicitly referred to a collective of alternative theories vis-a-vis mainstream theory and to the economists that engaged with those theories.

The final stage in the general acceptance of heterodox economics as the official collective term for the various heterodox theories began circa 1999. First there was the publication of Phillip O'Hara's comprehensive Encyclopedia of Political Economy (1999), which explicitly brought together the various heterodox approaches.

At the same time, in October 1998 Fred Lee established the Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE); and to publicize the conference and other activities of the AHE as well as heterodox activities around the world, he also developed from 1999 to the present an informal newsletter that eventually became (in September 2004) the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, now received by over 4,700 economists worldwide (as of Dec. 2012; see http://www.heterodoxnews.com). These twin developments served to establish heterodox economics as the preferred terminology by which these groups of economists referred to themselves. For various reasons, however, some are still reluctant to use the term, heterodox. One notable reason is that heterodoxy connotes the rejection and, hence, centrality of mainstream economics (see Robert Prasch in Ch. 2., Section 29). Others also argue that strict, dualist distinctions between heterodoxy and orthodoxy belittle the complexity and variety within each paradigm (Dow 1990, Mearman 2012).

Heterodox Economics as a community of Heterodox Economists

Heterodox economics also denotes a community of heterodox economists, which implies that the members are not segregated along professional and theoretical lines. With regard to the segregation of professional engagement, except for two instances in the mid-1970s, it has not existed among heterodox associations. For example, from their formation in 1965 1970, the three principal heterodox associations in the United States, AFEE, ASE, and URPE, opened their conferences to Institutionalist, social economics, radical-Marxian, and Post Keynesian papers and sessions; appointed and/or elected heterodox economists to the editorial boards of their journals and to their governing bodies who also were members of other heterodox associations or engaged with Post Keynesian economics; and had members who held memberships in other heterodox associations, engaged with Post Keynesian economics, and subscribed to more than one heterodox economics journal. Moreover, a number of heterodox associations formed since 1988, such as AHE, EAEPE, ICAPE, SDAE, and SHE, have adopted an explicitly pluralistic approach towards their name, membership, and conference participation for a list of heterodox associations, dates formed, and primary country or region of activity, see Table 1.1. Finally, the informal and explicit editorial policies of heterodox journals have, from their formation, accepted papers for publication that engage with the full range of heterodox approaches; and this tendency has strengthen since the mid-1990s as heterodox economics became more accepted. To illustrate, from 1993 to 2003 the eight principal English language generalist heterodox journals Cambridge Journal of Economics, Capital and Class, Feminist Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Review of Political Economy,Review of Radical Political Economics, and Review of Social Economy cited each other so extensively that no single journal or sub-set of journals was/were isolated; hence they form an interdependent body of literature where all heterodox approaches have direct and indirect connections with each other. Thus, in terms of professional engagement over the last ten years, the heterodox community is a pluralistic integrative whole.

Table 1.1: Heterodox Economics Associations (2012)

Name Year Country or Region
Formed of Primary Activity
Association d Economie Politique (AEP) 1980 Canada
Association for Economics and Social Analysis (AESA) 1970s US
Association for Evolutionary Economics (AFEE) 1965 US
Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE) 1998 UK & Ireland
Association for Institutionalist Thought (AFIT) 1979 US
Association for Integrity and Responsible Leadership 2007 US
in Economics and Associated Professions (AIRLEAP)
Association for Social Economics (ASE) 1970 US
Association Francaise dEconomie Politique (AFEP) 2009 France
Association pour le Developpement des Estudes Keynesiennes (ADEK) 2000 France
Belgian-Dutch Association for Institutional & Political Economy 1980 Netherlands & Belgium
Brazilian Keynesian Association (AKB) 2008 Brazil
Cambridge Political Economy Society (CPES) 1970s UK
Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE) 1970 UK
European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE) 1988 Europe
German Association of Political Economy 1970s Germany
German Keynes Society Germany
International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) 1992 World
International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism 1993 US & World
in Economics (ICAPE)
International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy (IIPPE) 2006 EU & World
International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) 1989 World
Japan Association for Evolutionary Economics (JAFEE) 1996 Japan
Japan Society of Political Economy (JSPE) 1959 Japan
Japanese Society for History of Economic Thought (JSHET) 1950 Japan
Japanese Society for Post Keynesian Economics (JSPKE) 1980 Japan
Korean Association for Political Economy (KAPE) 1987 Korea
Latin American Society for Political Economy Latin America
and Critical Thinking (SEPLA)
Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG) 1988 UK
Progressive Economics Forum (PEF) 1998 Canada
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 1989 US
Society for the Development of Austrian Economics (SDAE) 1996 US
Society for Heterodox Economics (SHE) 2002 Australia
Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) 1968 US
US Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) 2000 US
World Association for Political Economy (WAPE) 2006 China & World
World Economics Association (WEA) 2011 World

Theoretical segregation involves the isolation of a particular theoretical approach and its adherents from all other approaches and their adherents; that is to say, theoretical segregation occurs when there is no engagement across different theoretical approaches. However it does not exist within heterodox economics currently and nor has it existed in the past among the various heterodox approaches. From the 1960s through the 1980s heterodox economists engaged, integrated or synthesized Institutional, Post Keynesian, and Marxist-radical approaches, Institutional and Post Keynesian approaches, Post Keynesian and Marxian-radical approaches, Post Keynesian and Austrian, Austrian and Institutionalists, Feminist and Marxist-radical approaches, Institutional and Marxist-Radical Approaches, Institutional and Social Economics, ecological and Marxian-radical approaches, and social and Marxian economics. Thus by 1990 many heterodox economists could no longer see distinct boundaries between the various approaches. Moreover, heterodox economics in the 1990s to the present day continued the past integration efforts of engaging across the various heterodox approaches (Lee 2010; 2012; Dobusch and Kapeller 2012). Hence, it is clear that the heterodox community is not segregated along theoretical lines, but rather there is cross-approach engagement to such an extent that the boundaries of the various approaches do not simply overlap, they are, in some cases, not there at all. The ensuing theoretical messiness of cross-approach engagement is evidence to detractors of the theoretical incoherence of heterodox economics whereas to supporters of progress towards a more theoretically coherent heterodox economics a glass half-empty of coherence vs. a glass half-full of coherence.

Heterodox critique of mainstream economics

Mainstream economics is a clearly defined theoretical story about how the economy works; but this story is theoretically incoherent. That is, mainstream theory is comprised of a core set of propositions such as scarcity, equilibrium, rationality, preferences, and methodological individualism and derivative beliefs, vocabulary, symbols and parables, while there is a range of heterogeneous theoretical developments beyond the core that do not call into question the core itself in totality. As a result, critiques of the theory vary in that they can deal with the internal coherence and/or empirical grounding of the theory, can be directed at the theory at a particular point in time or at specific components of theory (such as methodology, concepts qua vocabulary, parables qua stories, and symbols), and can be initiated from a particular heterodox approach. What emerges is a varied but concatenate of particular and extensive critiques that generate an emergent encompassing rejection of mainstream theory, although any one particular critique may not go that far.

Although the internal and story qua model critiques show that the theory is incoherent, they do not by themselves differentiate mainstream from heterodox theory. This, however, can be dealt with in terms of specific critiques of the core propositions. That is, each of the heterodox approaches has produced critiques of particular core propositions of the theory, while each core proposition has been subject to more than one critique; in addition, the multiple heterodox critiques of a single proposition overlap in argumentation. To illustrate, consider the critiques of the concept of scarcity. The Post Keynesians argue that produced means of production within a circular production process cannot be characterized as scarce and that production is a social process; while Institutionalists reject the view that natural resources are not produced or socially created to enter into the production process; and the Marxists argue that the concept is a mystification and misspecification of the economic problem that it is not the relation of the isolated individual to given resources, but the social relationships that underpin the social provisioning process. The three critiques are complementary and integrative and generate the common conclusion that the concept of scarcity must be rejected as well as the mainstream definition of economics as the science of the non-social provisioning process analyzed through the allocation of scarce resources among competing ends given unlimited asocial wants of asocial individuals. Other critiques of the core propositions exist and arrive at similar conclusions. Together the three critiques internal, story qua model, and core propositions form a concatenated structured heterodox critique that rejects and denies the truth and value of mainstream theory.

Heterodox economics: theory and policy

Since the intellectual roots of heterodox economics are located in traditions that emphasize the wealth of nations, accumulation, justice, social relationships in terms of class, gender, and race, full employment, and economic and social reproduction, the discipline of economics, from its perspective, is concerned, not with prediction per se, but with explaining the actual process that provides the flow of goods and services required by society to meet the needs of those who participate in its activities. That is, economics is the science of the social provisioning process, and this is the general research agenda of heterodox economists. Such a definition has potential to integrate various traditions in heterodox economics beyond current mainstream economics that deals exclusively with market provisioning independently of socio-economic classes and agency embedded therein, and that relies solely upon methodological individualism (Jo 2011).

Central to the explanation of the social provisioning process is human agency in a cultural context and social processes in historical time affecting resources, consumption patterns, production and reproduction, and the meaning (or ideology) of market, state, and non-market/state activities engaged in social provisioning. Thus heterodox economics has two interdependent parts: theory and policy. Heterodox economic theory is an empirically grounded theoretical explanation of the historical process of social provisioning within the context of a capitalist economy. Therefore it is concerned with explaining those factors that are part of the process of social provisioning, including the structure and use of resources, the structure and change of social wants, structure of production and the reproduction of the business enterprise, family, state, and other relevant institutions and organizations, and distribution. In addition, heterodox economists extend their theory to examining issues associated with the process of social provisioning, such as racism, gender, and ideologies and myths. Because their economics involves issues of ethical values and social philosophy and the historical aspects of human existence, heterodox economists make ethically-based economic policy recommendations to improve human dignity, that is, recommending ameliorative and/or radical, social, and economic policies to improve the social provisioning and hence well-being for all members of society and especially the disadvantage members. To do this right, their economic policy recommendations must be connected to heterodox theory which provides an accurate historical and theoretical picture of how the economy actually works a picture that includes class and hierarchical domination, inequalities, and social-economic discontent.

Given the definition of economics as the science of the social provisioning process and the structure of the explanation of the process combined with the pluralistic and integrative proclivities of heterodox economists, there has emerged a number of elements that have come to constitute the provisional theoretical and methodological core of heterodox theory. Some elements are clearly associated with particular heterodox approaches as noted by O Hara:

The main thing that social economists bring to the study [of heterodox economics] is an emphasis on ethics, morals and justice situated in an institutional setting. Institutionalists bring a pragmatic approach with a series of concepts of change and normative theory of progress, along with a commitment to policy. Marxists bring a set of theories of class and the economic surplus. Feminists bring a holistic account of the ongoing relationships between gender, class, and ethnicity in a context of difference?. And post-Keynesians contribute through an analysis of institutions set in real time, with the emphasis on effective demand, uncertainty and a monetary theory of production linked closely with policy recommendations. [O Hara, 2002, p. 61]

However, other provisional elements, such as critical realism, non-equilibrium or historical modeling, the gendering and emotionalizing agency, the socially embedded economy, and circular and cumulative change, emerged from a synthesis of arguments that are associated only in part with particular heterodox approaches.

The core methodological elements establish the basis for constructing heterodox theory. In particular, the methodology emphasizes realism, structure, feminist and uncertain agency qua individual, history, and empirical groundness in the construction of heterodox theory, which is a historical narrative of how capitalism works. The theory qua historical narrative does not simply recount or superficially describe actual economic events, such as the exploitation of workers; it does more in that it analytically explains the internal workings of the historical economic process that, say, generate the exploitation of workers. Moreover, because of its historical nature, the narrative is not necessarily organized around the concepts of equilibrium/long period positions and tendencies towards them. Because the narrative provides an accurate picture of how capitalism actually works and changes in a circular and cumulative fashion, economists use their theory to suggest alternative paths future economic events might take and propose relevant economic policies to take them. In constructing the narrative, they have at the same time created a particular social-economic-political picture of capitalism.

The core theoretical elements generate a three-component structure-organization-agency economic theory. The first component of the theory consists of three overlapping interdependencies that delineate the structure of a real capitalist economy. The first interdependency is the production of goods and services requires goods and services to be used as inputs. Hence, with regard to production, the overall economy (which includes both market and non-market production) is represented as an input-output matrix of material goods combined with different types of labor skills to produce an array of goods and services as outputs. Many of the outputs replace the goods and services used up in production and the rest constitute a physical surplus to be used for social provisioning, that is for consumption, private investment, government usage, and exports. A second interdependency is the relation between the wages of workers, profits of enterprises, and taxes of government and expenditures on consumption, investment, and government goods as well as non-market social provisioning activities. The last interdependency consists of the overlay of the flow of funds or money accompanying the production and exchange of the goods and services. Together these three interdependencies produce a monetary input-output structure of the economy where transactions in each market are a monetary transaction; where a change in price of a good or the method by which a good is produced in any one market will have an indirect or direct impact on the entire economy; and where the amount of private investment, government expenditure on real goods and services, and the excess of exports over imports determines the amount of market and non-market economic activity, the level of market employment and non-market laboring activities, and consumer expenditures on market and non-market goods and services. These elements of course have parallels in non-heterodox economics, but the ideas are developed in ways that are different.

The second component of heterodox theory consists of three broad categories of economic organization that are embedded in the monetary input-output structure of the economy. The first category is micro market-oriented, hence particular to a set of markets and products. It consists of the business enterprise, private and public market organizations that regulate competition in product and service markets, and the organizations and institutions that regulate the wages of workers. The second is macro market-oriented and hence is spread across markets and products, or is not particular to any market or product. It includes the state and various subsidiary organizations as well as particular financial organizations, that is those organizations that make decisions about government expenditures and taxation, and the interest rate. Finally the third category consists of non-market organizations that promote social reproduction and include the family and state and private organizations that contribute to and support the family. The significance of organizations is that they are the social embeddedness of agency qua the individual, the third component of heterodox theory. That is, agency, which are decisions made by individuals concerning the social provisioning process and social well-being, takes place through these organizations. And because the organizations are embedded in both instrumental and ceremonial institutions, such as gender, class, ethnicity, justice, marriage, ideology, and hierarchy qua authority, agency qua the individual acting through organizations affect both positively and negatively but never optimally the social provisioning process.

Conclusion

If mainstream economics suddenly disappeared, heterodox economics would be largely unaffected. It would still include the various heterodox traditions; there would still be a integrated professional and theoretical community of heterodox economists; and its heterodox research agenda would still be directed at explaining the social provisioning process in capitalist economies and argue for economic policies that would enhance social well-being. In this regard, heterodox economics is not out to reform mainstream economics. Rather it is an alternative to mainstream economics: an alternative in terms of explaining the social provisioning process and suggesting economic policies to promote social well-being. Over the past decade the community of heterodox economics has grown, diversified, and integrated. The previously isolated are now part of a community; heterodox associations exist in countries where previously no heterodox associations had existed; and developments in heterodox theory and policy are occurring at breakneck speed. In short, heterodox economics is now an established feature on the disciplinary landscape and the progressive future of economics.

Further Readings on Heterodox Economics

(originally compiled by Tae-Hee Jo)

Davis, J.B. 2006. The Nature of Heterodox Economics, post-autistic economics review, 40: 23-30
Dequech, D. 2007-8, Neoclassical, Mainstream, Orthodox and Heterodox Economics , Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 30(2): 279-302.
Dobusch, L. and J. Kapeller. 2012. Heterodox United vs. Mainstream City, Journal of Economic Issues, 46(4): 1035-1058.
Dugger, W.M. 1996. Redefining Economics: from market allocation to social provisioning, in C. Whalen (ed.), Political Economy for the 21st Century: contemporary views on the trends of economics, 31-43, Armonk: M. E. Sharpe.
Foldvary, Fred E. 1996. Beyond Neoclassical Economics: Heterodox Approaches to Economic Theory, Edward Elgar.
Garnett, R.F., E. Olsen, & M. Starr (eds.), 2009. Economic Pluralism, Routledge
Garnett, R.F. 2006. Paradigms and Pluralism in Heterodox Economics, Review of Political Economy, 18(4): 521-546
Gerber, J.-F. & R. Steppacher, 2012. Towards an Integrated Paradigm in Heterodox Economics: Alternative Approaches to the Current Eco-Social Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan.
George, D.A. (ed.). 2008. Issues in Heterodox Economics, Wiley.
Goldstein, J.P. & M.G. Hillard (eds.), 2011. Heterodox Macroeconomics: Keynes, Marx and Globalization, Routledge.
Harvey, J. T. & R.F. Garnett (eds.), 2008. Future Directions for Heterodox Economics, University of Michigan Press.
Lavoie, M. 2006. Do Heterodox Theories Have Anything In Common? A Post-Keynesian Point of View, INTERVENTION. Journal of Economics, 3(1): 43-68
Lawson, T. 2006. The nature of heterodox economics, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30(4): 483-505.
Lawson, T. 2004. Reorienting Economics: On heterodox economics, themata and the use of mathematics in economics, Journal of Economic Methodology, 11(3): 329-340.
Lee, F. S. & M. Lavoie (eds.), 2012. In Defense of Post Keynesian and Heterodox Economics, Routledge.
Lee, F.S. 2012. Heterodox Surplus Approach: Production, Prices, and Value Theory, Bulletin of Political Economy, 6(2).
Lee, F.S. 2010. A heterodox teaching of neoclassical microeconomic theory, International Journal of Pluralism and Economic Education, 1: 203-235
Lee, F.S. 2009. Alfred Eichner s Missing Complete Model : A Heterodox Micro-Macro Model of a Monetary Production Economy. In Money and Macrodynamics: Alfred Eichner and Post-Keynesian Economics, edited by M. Lavoie, L.-P. Rochon, and M. Seccareccia, M. E. Sharpe, pp. 22-42.
Lee, F. S. 2009. A History of Heterodox Economics: Challenging the mainstream in the twentieth century, Routledge.
Lee, F.S. 2008. Heterodox Economics, in Durlauf, S. N. & Blume, L. E. (ed.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
Lee, F.S. 2005. Teaching Heterodox Microeconomics, post-autistic economics review, 31, 26-39
Lee, F.S. 2001. Conference of Socialist Economists and the Emergence of Heterodox Economics in Post-War Britain, Capital & Class, 75.
Lee, F.S. and Jo, T.-H. 2011. Social Surplus Approach and Heterodox Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, 45(4): 857-875.
Mearman, A. 2012. Heterodox economics and the problems of classification , Journal of Economic Methodology, 19:4: 407-424
Mearman, A. 2011, Who do Heterodox Economists Think They Are? , American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 70(2): 480-510.'
O'Hara, P.A. (ed.), 2000. Encyclopedia of Political Economy, two-volume set, Routledge.
Reardon, J. (ed) 2015. Roundtable dialogue on pluralism, International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 6 (3): 272-308. Link.
Wrenn, M. 2004. What is Heterodox Economics? , Ph.D. dissertation, Colorado State University.
Wrenn, M. 2007. What is Heterodox Economics? Conversations with Historians of Economic Thought , Forum for Social Economics, 36(2): 97-108.

Special Issues in academic journals dedicated to heterodox economics:

  • Review of Political Economy, 24(2) and 24(3): April and July 2012. Symposium on the Future of Post-Keynesian Economics and Heterodox Economics contra their Critics. Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Marc Lavoie.
  • On the Horizon, 20(3): August 2012. Beyond market-fundamentalist economics: an agenda for heterodox economics to change the dominant narrative, edited by Tae-Hee Jo, Lynne Chester and Mary C. King.
  • Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36(5): September 2012. Special Issue on Environment, sustainability and heterodox economics.
  • American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 70(5): November 2011. Social Provisioning, Embeddedness, and Modeling the Economy.
  • Review of Radical Political Economics, 43(4): Fall 2011. Symposium: The Pluralism Debate in Heterodox Economics.
  • American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 69(5): November 2010. Evaluating Economic Research in a Contested Discipline: Rankings, Pluralism, and the Future of Heterodox Economics.
  • On the Horizon, 16(4): 2008. Publishing, ranking, and the future of heterodox economics, Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Wolfram Elsner.
  • Journal of Philosophical Economics, I(2): 2008. Special Issue on Pluralism and Heterodox Economics. Guest Editor: Andrew Mearman.
  • The Long Term View: A Journal of Informed Opinion, 7(1): Spring 2008. Special Issue on How Economics is Changing.
  • Journal of Economic Surveys, 21(3): July 2007. Special Issue on Heterodox Economics.
  • Review of Radical Political Economics, 38(4): Fall 2006. History of Heterodox Economics.
  • Journal of Australian Political Economy, 50: December 2002. Special issue on The State of Political Economy.
  • Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 20(2): June 2000. Special Issue on the Progress of Heterodox Economics.

Society of Heterodox Economics (SHE) Conference Volumes:

  • Heterodox Economics: Ten Years and Growing Stronger!, 2011, edited by Lynne Chester, Michael Johnson, and Peter Kriesler
  • Heterodox Economics: Addressing Perennial and New Challenges, 2010, edited by Lynne Chester, Michael Johnson, and Peter Kriesler
  • Heterodox Economics Visions, 2009, edited by Lynne Chester, Michael Johnson, and Peter Kriesler
  • Contemporary Issues for Heterodox Economics, 2008, edited by Lynne Chester, Michael Johnson, and Peter Kriesler
  • Heterodox Economic Perspectives on Contemporary Issues, 2007, edited by Lynne Chester and Michael Johnson
  • Essays in Heterodox Economics, 2006, edited by P. Kriesler, M. Johnson, and J. Lodewijks

100 Words on Heterodox Economics

100 Words on Heterodox Economics: context and origin

This chapter was initially formed as part of the 100th issue of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter (May 31, 2010). Twenty five eminent heterodox economists representing their tradition in heterodox economics, organization, institutes, association, country, or region addressed their view on the current state and future of heterodox economics (see five questions below). The second initiative began in late 2012 in the course ofupdating theHeterodox Economics Directory. Eleven entries have been added to the listsome are muchlonger than 100 words. We hope that readers, especially young heterodox economists, enjoy listening to theseheterodox economists who have been making tremendous efforts to advance heterodox economics and toestablish the community of heterodox economists throughout their academic and professionallife.

Questions:

  1. How is heterodox economics different from mainstream-neoclassical economics?
  2. What is the nature of heterodox economics?
  3. What is the current state of heterodox economics (in your country or region)?
  4. What should be done to advance heterodox economics?
  5. Any advices for the future generation of heterodox economics?

List of Contributors

  • [2016] Barbara Hopkins, Julie A. Nelson, Robert Pollin, Tony Lawson, James Galbraith
  • [2012] Randy Albelda, Cyrus Bina, Lynne Chester, Paul Davidson, David Dequech, William M. Dugger, Mathew Forstater, Neva Goodwin, Marc Lavoie, Robert E. Prasch, Paolo Ramazzotti
  • [2010] David Barkin, Heinrich Bortis, Andy Denis, Sheila Dow, Amitava Krishna Dutt, Peter E. Earl, Wolfram Elsner, Ben Fine, William T. Ganley, Jorge Garcia-Arias, Hardy Hanappi, Geoffrey C. Harcourt, Eckhard Hein, John F. Henry, Arturo Hermann, John E. King, Dany Lang, Frederic S. Lee, Vladimir A. Masch, Alessandro Roncaglia, David F. Ruccio, Stephanie Seguino, Bruno Tinel, Lefteris Tsoulfidis, Richard D. Wolf

Alessandro Roncaglia

The co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, USA

An Arrow-Debreu (Walrasian) model is the backbone of Mainstream economic theories. Heterodox economic theories, therefore, are (or should be) defined as any economic theory that throws over one or more of the fundamental axioms underlying the Walrasian classical equilibrium system. Consequently heterodox economics should be perceived as a threat to the applicability to the world of experience of the logical conclusions of Walrasian [classic equilibrium] theorynamely that flexible wages and prices and free competitive market actions [without any government interventioni.e., laissez-faire] assures a social optimum economic performance.

Nevertheless many economists who object to the Walrasian social optimum conclusion, profess a theoretical model that reaches non-Walrasian conclusions regarding the operation of unfettered markets, even though their model is based on a Walrasian system. Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesian and New Keynesians, for example, accept the Walrasian system but argue that wages (and prices) are fixed (or at least sticky) so that the gross substitution axiom cannot work, at least in the short run, and therefore labor markets do not automatically clear. Since these models requires synthesizing basic neoclassical theory with Keynesian outcomes, these theorists are, by definition, mainstream in that they admit that the backbone of their theoretical analysis is a classical equilibrium analysisto which they have added some ad hoc constraint to prevent all markets clearing. Since it is either monopolists that prevent free flexible competitive pricing or labor unions who fix wages (and/or who pressure governments to enforce minimum wage rates), therefore these theories are accepted by mainstream classical theorists since the villains who prevent a social optimum are labor unions and/or monopolists. And such a conclusion is consistent with the Walrasian system.

Many economists, e.g., Marxists, argue that monopoly permeates the structure of industrial firms and therefore prevents the market place from working its classical wonders. Please note that such economists, although they may consider themselves heterodox, are, by definition, still mainstream economists in that they rely on some economic power constraint to prevent an otherwise free market from achieving an optimum solution.

Keynes, on the other hand, produced a truly heterodox theory when his general theory threw out three fundamental classical axioms. A theory is more general when it relies on fewer axioms. The three classical axioms that Keynes overthrew are: (1) the neutral money axiom, (2) the ergodic axiom and (3) the ubiquitous gross substitution axiom. If money is not neutral, then changes in the quantity of money can affect output without necessarily affecting prices. Since the classical ergodic axiom presumes the future is predetermined and can be reliably predicted based on existing market data, then in such a system the government cannot, in the long run, change this predetermined path. If the economic system is nonergodic, on the other hand, then the future is fundamentally uncertainty and not predetermined and not just probabilistic risky.

Consequently, Keyness theory emphasized that decision makers knowing that the future is uncertain and non predictable, therefore organize production and exchange transactions on the basis of legal monetary contracts that the State will enforce. Accordingly these decision makers base their important economic decisions on liquidity consideration, i.e., on their ability to meet future monetary commitments, and not just on the potential real outcomes off any contractual agreement. Moreover, in this uncertain economic environment saving decisions are made in the form of the accumulation of money and other liquid financial assets, while investment decisions are made in terms of the accumulation of real capital assets [plant and equipment] and there is no gross substitution between financial assets and real assets. Consequently a decision to save is not equivalent to a decision to invest. In such an economic system, unemployment can occur whether prices are flexible or not.

Many economists consider themselves heterodox merely because the mainstream economic establishment and professional journals have rejected their ad hoc constraint analysis of the Walrasian economic systemalthough by definition they are bound by the some underlying logic of the classical system as are Monetarists, New Classicalists, Neoclassical Keynesians and New Keynesians. Rejection of their ideas by the mainstream do not make such theorists heterodox merely because they are not welcomed by mainstream economists. They should be considered heterodox only when they reject one or more of the fundamental classical axioms.

Amitava Krishna Dutt

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, USA

Recent economic events have drawn attention to the interconnected failings of many aspects of economic orthodoxy: its optimization fetish, its preoccupation with mathematical technique for its own sake, its belief in the efficiency of market economies, its support for free market policies, and its neglect of values. Now, more than ever, heterodox economists, who have long been aware of these deficiencies, need to continue to constructively develop alternative approaches to economics with a genuine commitment to pluralismin terms of methods, views of the economy, and socially-just policieswhile seeking common ground beyond their shared opposition to mainstream economics.

Andy Denis

Senior Lecturer in Political Economy in the Department of Economics, City University London, UK

Heterodox economics is constituted by the neoclassical mainstream by exclusion. By excluding some and including others it creates a heterodoxy and an orthodoxy. There will only be consistency in the heterodoxy to the extent that mainstream economics is consistent in what it excludes. Equally, the mainstream itself is not a single entity but simply those approaches deemed insufficiently threatening to warrant exclusion. A salient example is behavioural economics: though highly critical of mainstream microeconomics and the principle of Homo economicus, the reductionism of this school of thought renders it acceptable to the mainstream – at a time when macro level irrationality is apparently endemic, it is helpful to apologetic economics to be able to suggest that the fault lies with insufficiently rational individual agents.

The most important criteria which seem to me to operate in deciding whom to exclude are

  • Holism or reductionism: seeing individual agents as isolated atoms or as embedded in networks or social relations; and
  • Equilibrium or disequilibrium: explanation of social conditions as underpinned by timeless equilibria or by momentary pauses between kaleidoscopic shifts;

On these criteria institutionalism, post Keynesianism, Marxian economics, Austrian economics and critical realism are all heterodox. On the other hand, neoclassical Keynesianism, monetarism, new classical macroeconomics, new Keynesianism, new institutional economics, and analytical Marxism are all orthodox.

Scientific economics is best served by the struggle for pluralism, that is, against exclusion, against the constitution of orthodoxies and heterodoxies. We cannot support heterodox economics per se, as that would require (for example) support for both Marxian and Austrian economics, which would be incoherent. What we can do is to engage with allies both within and outside the mainstream to oppose the monism of the current orthodoxy, and those heterodox economists who would merely like to replace it. Our goal should not be to replace the current orthodoxy with a new one, but to remove the division of the discipline into orthodox and heterodox camps.

Arturo Hermann

Senior Researcher at the Institute for Studies and Economic Analyses (ISAE), Rome, Italy

One central aspect of a heterodox perspective in economics is its level of interdisciplinarity. As is well known, mainstream economics largely rests on the attempt to insulate itself from other perspectives in economics and in other fields of social and psychological sciences. Such situation is unsatisfactory for those who believe in the unitary character of science and, then, try to establish systematic contacts with other social sciences. This process, of course, is not tantamount to downplaying the distinctive features of each discipline. Conversely, the analysis of different perspectives in particular, sociology, history, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis by broadening the horizon of awareness of the observer, constitutes an excellent way for obtaining a better comprehension of the real features of each discipline.

This heterodox and enlarged theoretical perspective, by helping to attain a better understanding of the multifarious aspects of any given reality, can contribute to devise policies more tailored to the competencies and aspirations of all the subjects involved.

Barbara Hopkins

Associate Professor of Economics, Economics Department, Wright State University, US

Heterodox economics is pluralist and reality based. Therefore, it recognizes complexity, variety, change, power, and ethics. It is heterodox not because it opposes the mainstream (which is too narrow, simplistic, falsely universal, and ahistorical) but because the mainstream opposes it (rarely through reasoned criticism but by arguing that it is not economics and by setting up institutions that privilege mainstream approaches, such as measures of “quality” of research based on popularity.) We can promote heterodox economics by doing it, sharing it, teaching about it, and encouraging others. My advice to young heterodox economists is to find the heterodox organization in which you can make a home for your intellectual life. Even if your job doesn’t offer like-minded people you will always have people you can talk to who can give you support and advice on your work.

Ben Fine

Professor of Economics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

1. It is different in method, in concepts, in social and historical content, in goals, in interdisciplinarity and in sensitivity to its own history and contemporary relevance.

2. It is alive and well but outside of economics departments where it is suffering a slow and painful death of assault and neglect from an intellectual barbarism that presents itself as scientific and rigorous.

3. Maintain intellectual and strategic integrity, especially in forging interdisciplinarity and attachment to material realities as opposed to slavish and opportunistic dedication to techniques.

4. Good luck but we can prevail collectively and individually contingent upon broader struggles.

To address all of these questions, join IIPPE (http://www.iippe.org).

Bruno Tinel

CES (Centre dEconomie de la Sorbonne), University of Paris 1 Panthon Sorbonne, France

The traditions composing Heterodoxy in economics share a common methodological and theoretical ground. This internal diversity of Heterodoxy makes it intellectually exciting and relevant for society. Though it remains scientifically unchallenged, its institutional positions have weakened in most advanced capitalist countries. The issue of academic reproduction is not intellectual but practical. The Heterodox Economics Newsletter is a very good element within this strategy which has to be completed by national and international organizations such as FAPE (French Association of Political Economy) and IIPPE (International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy).

Cyrus Bina

Professor of Economics, University of Minnesota-Morris, USA

What essentially distinguishes heterodox economics from orthodox (mainstream) economics is a methodical grip on reality of capitalism and turning it to a search for meaning. To be worthy of the name, therefore, heterodox economics must get rid of its residue of axiomatic orientation prevailing among its members and do away with axiomatic models, ahistorical agents, and fallacy of composition. The class structure of capitalism has always been like an 800-pound gorilla for orthodoxy, which has been conveniently overlooked by assumptions; for heterodox economics this very characteristic has to be the point of departure and source of authenticity for a paradigm informed of power relations entwined with lopsided accumulation of wealth in capitalism. Neoclassical economic theory has no authenticityit is neither a science nor a genuine science fiction.

Dany Lang

Associate Professor, CEPN, University of Paris 13, France

The past years have been characterized by an impressive and stimulating revival of post-Keynesian modeling. Roughly speaking, the main strands of this literature are the Kaleckian models of growth and income distribution, the Kaldorian-Robinsonian models of path dependency, and the Minskian models of financial crises. On the top of that, the stock-flow consistent methodology is a perfect tool for understanding complex macroeconomic interactions with multiple buffers. These post-Keynesian models are worth considering, partly because they are rather realistic, and explain numerous aspects of the 2007 crisis and the subsequent recession.

The next stage should be the framing a post-Keynesian synthesis. The baseline of it could be a dynamic model of growth and income distribution, with a path dependant rate of capacity utilization, and an endogenous supply of credit that changes as the behavior of financial institutions varies in the different phases of the cycle. Class struggle, subcontracting and domination should also be taken into account explicitly.

To enrich these models and their understanding of reality, post-Keynesians should really develop further the discussion with the other heterodox schools, rather than engaging with a mainstream that whatever happens wont listen.

David Barkin

Profesor de Economa, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico

The varieties of Political Ecology involving the integration of ecological, social, and solidarity economics with political economy offer valuable insights into the underlying causes of the twin crises currently confronting us: economic and ecologic. When these approaches are enriched with the teachings of peoples actively engaged in strengthening their own communities with their multiple proposals for assuring social well-bring and ecological protection and restoration, we can develop new models for economic analysis and political action. From the vantage point of Latin America, we can enrich our teaching by incorporating the experiences of hundreds of communities that are building social and political alliances to develop new paradigms.

David Dequech

Professor of Economics, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

Heterodox economics may be defined in contrast either to the orthodoxy, which currently is neoclassical economics, or in contrast to mainstream economics, which I have defined in terms of academic prestige and influence. In the former sense, heterodox economics would nowadays include non-neoclassical segments of the mainstream, although some people seem unaware of this implication. In the latter sense, it is non-mainstream economics, and each subset of the heterodoxy has both intellectual and sociological reasons to seek further interaction and integration, both with other economists and with non-economists. Each of these subsets does not by itself provide a comprehensive, satisfactory alternative to neoclassical economics, and all of them face reproductive difficulties.

David F. Ruccio

Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame, USA

Heterodox economics comprises all those theories that academic economists and others use to criticize and develop alternatives to mainstream (neoclassical and Keynesian) approaches. Heterodox and mainstream theories differ in terms of their starting points, methodologies, and conclusions. Thus, for example, Marxian economists start with class and use Marxian value theory to criticize capitalism, whereas neoclassical economists start with a set of given preferences, technology, and resource endowments and use a framework of supply and demand to celebrate capitalism. The problems of capitalism and mainstream economic theories, now as throughout their history, create the space for and interest in heterodox approaches. [2010]

Eckhard Hein

Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

1. Heterodox economics rejects the idea that economics has to start from optimising (representative) individuals in a world of probabilistic risk and that meaningful macroeconomic results can be derived from this microeconomic perspective. Institutions, money, state, class, gender, etc. are important for the explanation of economic behaviour in a world of fundamental uncertainty. In this realistic framework all sorts of fallacies of composition can arise.

2. In Germany, heterodox economics has almost disappeared from the major universities and research institutes. However, it is still alive at a few smaller universities, at universities of applied sciences, and in two research institutes which are close to the trade unions. Furthermore, there are heterodox societies and networks with regular conferences, in particular the Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies with annual international conferences which have more than 200 participants.

3. Increase the pressure on universities to provide relevant teaching and research in economics, and improve access of researchers doing relevant economics to university positions and to public funding.

4. Dont give up.

Engelbert Stockhammer

Professor of Economics, Director of Research, School of Economics, History and Politics, Kingston University

Heterodox Economics encompasses a variety of non-mainstream approaches. It broadly includes economists and social scientists that reject methodological individualism (based on rational optimising behaviour) and market clearing as the central building blocks for economic analysis. Instead they highlight issues of class conflict, involuntary effective demand, evolutionary development and path dependency as pervasive features of capitalist economies. The term heterodox economics become widely used in the 1990s in an attempt to strengthen networks between dispersed groups of heterodox economists and social scientists. It motivated the creation of the Heterodox Economics newsletter and the Association for Heterodox Economics, but a similar spirit had been already at the heart of the European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy (in the late 1980s) and the Cambridge Journal of Economics (in the 1970s).

Frederic S. Lee

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA, Editor of The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, and Founding Editor of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter

All too often I hear a conversation that boils down to two statements: What can heterodox economics do for me? and I am too busy publishing or teaching to do anything to help advance heterodox economics. Advancing heterodox economics involves much work that does not per se advance ones professional career. The selfless work I am referring to involves organizing conference-seminars, refereeing papers, publishing newsletters, editing journals, and doing the administrative/institutional work necessary to establish and run heterodox undergraduate and post-graduate economic programs. If all heterodox economists would contribute to this in some small way, then heterodox economics will advance.

Geoffrey C. Harcourt

Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge, UK and University of Adelaide, Australia

As a Post-Keynesian, I approach economic issues by having modern capitalism as the background to analysis. I try to analyse processes in historical time and highlight decision making on pricing, production, employment and accumulation in an inescapable uncertain environment by those who run capitalist firms. I look for cumulative causation rather equilibrating processes at work. I try to find why modern economies malfunction, how to rectify this and move towards just, equitable societies. I place all reasoning in historical, biographical settings, taking in the contributions of past greats in our and related disciplines. I happily use many modes of reasoning, including relevant mathematics.

Hardy Hanappi

University Professor, Jean Monnet Chair for Political Economy of European Integration, University of Technology Vienna Economics, Austria

HET is a pool of approaches advancing the understanding of political economy as a scientific discipline. It differs from the ruling body of economic mainstream by opposing a simple import of methods of 18th century physics. This import – due to inadequacy with respect to human societyhas degenerated to a secularized, monotheistic religion. The breakdown of an inadequate dogma advances with its proven inability to support decision-makingand the simultaneous success of heterodox approaches. Therefore the most important task is to develop a methodological toolbox to explore scientifically how to control the deteriorating dynamics of the global political economy.

Heinrich Bortis

Professor and Chair of Political Economy, History of Economic Theories and Economic History, Faculty ofEconomics and Social Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

To revive political economy in the sense of Ricardo, Marx, Kalecki and Keynes is of the greatest importance at present. The problem is to forge the theoretical tools to come to grips with the present crisis and to lay the conceptual foundations for shaping a new world economic and financial order. This requires, however, that political economy, post-cum-classical-Keynesian for example, be systematically presented in the form of volumes on principles, treatises and textbooks. Given this, political economy could be taught systematically. This would, in turn, enable the transformation of existing economic theory chairs into political economy chairs, or even the creation of new chairs in political economy. In any case, in the form of political economy in a broad sense, including, most importantly, the history of economic theories, economic theory would become socially relevant again. To conclude, systematic writing on political economy is, at present, the most pressing task of (experienced) political economists.

James Galbraith

Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and Professor, Department of Government, The University of Texas at Austin.

“Heterodox” in economics is the Mark of Cain. I am happy to bear it. Yet in gross terms the label is a stigma, imposed on those excluded from and by the self-declared mainstream. Todays followers of Keynes, Kaldor, Robinson, Minsky, Schumpeter, Leontief, Hirschman, Veblen, Commons, Prebisch, Georgescu-Roegen, Eisner, Pasinetti and my father (among others) are not outsiders. Instead they represent what is most worth preserving, advancing and developing in the discipline of economics. The others – for all their power over journals and appointments, and especially to the extent that they wield that power – are narrow and pretentious impostors.

John E. King

Professor of Economics, School of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University, Australia

Heterodox economics is concerned with the real world. It is pluralist, multi-disciplinary and policy-oriented. It is under serious threat from our governments research assessment exercise (ERA: Excellence in Research Australia), since heterodox journals are systematically under-rated. To advance heterodox economics, we should continue to be pluralist, multi-disciplinary, policy-oriented and concerned with reality: one day the brittle faade of the mainstream will start to crack. The future generation of heterodox economists should talk politely to each other and critically (but still politely) to the mainstream. They should stay cheerful, even though there may be no good reason to!

John F. Henry

Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, US

I would suggest that the feature that best distinguishes (or should distinguish) heterodoxy from mainstream economics is that we should be trying to change the world. While such a slogan would have different meanings for different strands of heterodox economists, all are attempting to produce a world that is more humane, more sensible, more amenable to the provisioning processin particular to the nurturing of children. It would appear that in this, we are not very successful in the current period. We need to be better organized, more aggressive in making our positions more public. To this end, the advice I would give future generations would be to quote Marx: Struggle!

Jorge Garcia-Arias

Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Leon, Spain

1. They differ in their objects (and subjects) of study; in their concerns, in many of the questions that they ask, in the answers that they offer (for those questions that they share), in their underlying mode of thought and, mainly, in the methodology that they use. Unfortunately, there are also significant differences in their capacity to influence the general public, the media, administrators and politicians.

2. At this moment, Spain is a world leader in the implementation of one of the most perverse, most baroque, least transparent and best planned mechanisms to eradicate heterodox viewpoints from university teaching and researching in Economics. (see Heterodox Economics Newsletter, issue 94, for a brief overview; or interested colleagues can request a more detailed account by e-mail, jrgara@unileon.es).

3. Promoting regional and worldwide associations, developing international research groups, recruiting the best degree students for heterodox postgraduate studies, calling for a public agency to manage bibliometrics analysis, taking further the advances in the development of particular indices for journals and centres involved in heterodox economics, and increasing visibility in the academic environment and in the public arena.

4. To work on the edges, and even more so, clearly outside the boundaries, of mainstream Economics is a hard task which involves considerable costs at both personal and professional levels. Anyway, working in the field from within one of the strands of heterodox Economics can actually make you feel more useful for society, more content with yourself, more able to enjoy things, in a word, happier.

N.B.: These opinions are exclusively those of the respondent. They do not necessarily reflect, far lesscommit, those of other Spanish heterodox economists, nor those of any Spanish or internationalheterodox economics association, group or institution, whether or not the respondent is linked tothem.

Julie A. Nelson

Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA

“Heterodox” is something of a grab-bag term for “non-orthodox.” At our best, heterodox economists take what I call a “broader questions and bigger toolbox” approach. We start with real, significant questions for which society needs answers, such as questions of poverty, injustice, and climate change. We then seek to do systematic, open-minded investigation that will lead to useful knowledge, taking advantage of whatever tools are most appropriate. Recognizing that the social nature of the economy makes our subject matter complex, we reject the orthodoxy’s dogmatic adherence to a single narrow set of assumptions and to a physics-mimicking methodology. At our worst, however, its not unknown for heterodox economists to focus their energies instead on claiming that their own particular (possibly quite narrow and dogmatic ) approach is better than everybody else’s. Meanwhile, having conned the public into believing that it is “hard” and “scientific” (and, by the way, “masculine”), the neoclassical mainstream continues to dominate public discussion, to the great advantage of those who would prefer that the big questions of our time remain unaddressed.

Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece and the Editor of Bulletin of Political Economy

1. The main difference is that heterodox economics accepts a theory of value and distribution which is separate from a theory of output. In particular, the theory of value is based on objective data (real wage, output and technique) whereas in neoclassical economics it is based on subjective data (preferences). Furthermore, competition is conceived realistically and not as perfect competition, and thus heterodox economics is opposed to the ideas of perfect foresight and rational expectations as it recognizes widespread uncertainty.

2. Heterodox economists in Greece constitute a small but rather active group organized in formal and informal societies.

3. Simply, develop alternative explanations of economic phenomena and propose sensible and viable economic policies. In a period of economic crisis such as the current one heterodox economists are offered a unique opportunity to popularize their ideas and have a lasting impact.

4. The task before the future generation of heterodox economics should be the integration of the existing wealth of heterodox ideas into a single theory competitive to the neoclassical orthodoxy.

Lynne Chester

Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Australia

Heterodox economics can be described as:

  • encompassing a number of schools of thought i.e. pluralist in nature,
  • not mechanistic or led by technique,
  • dealing with concrete constructs,
  • using the theoretical to explain the empirical,
  • not treating economic variables in isolation or the abstract,
  • seeing economic phenomena, change or crisis as being embedded within a system of an extra-economic nature,
  • recognising that different theories will often be complementary rather than alternative,
  • recognising that no one system of knowledge has captured reality, and
  • does not advocate a single correct alternative to mainstream neoclassical economics.

Marc Lavoie

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada

Heterodox economists are non-orthodox. Therefore the dual of heterodox economics is orthodox economics. But as Sheila Dow warned us, dual distinctions are rarely perfect. So we need a third concept, dissenters. There are heterodox dissenters and orthodox dissenters. In the latter group we can include people like Joseph Stiglitz, many behavioural economists, Keynes in 1936, or Milton Friedman in the 1950s. Their ideas sometimes become part of mainstream economics, that is, they enter the textbooks (undergraduate or graduate). The ideas of heterodox dissenters rarely do so. Heterodoxy can be characterized by five traits: realism, holism (and its macro paradoxes), reasonable rationality, a concern for production, and a belief that markets need to be tamed; on the other hand, orthodoxy is linked to instrumentalism, atomicism, hyper-rationality, a concern with exchange and scarcity, and a belief that if all imperfections could be removed unfettered markets would provide us with the best of all possible worlds.

Marcella Corsi

Professor of economics, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Heterodox economics is (or should be) based on two methodological issues.

Economic theory is historically conditioned. As social systems evolve, the appropriate theory to represent a certain phenomenon must evolve too. Therefore, plurality in methods, including history, must be a deliberate choice.

Economic research needs rigor and realism. Economic theory must be internally consistent, but it must also capture the essential characteristics of that part of reality that is being studied. Heterodox economists must help their students to understand the social implications of theoretical hypotheses. If this is not done, students may infer that the orderly world posited by models is the real world. Or worse, the only possible world.

Mario Seccareccia

Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa and Editor of the International Journal of Political Economy

Unlike mainstream neoclassical economics that is guided by a monistic view of human behaviour, heterodox economics is characterized by the lack of one single unifying perspective. What characterizes the latter is its pluralism in the sense that it seeks to offer explanations of economic phenomena by considering presuppositions about human behaviour that do not have one simple unifying logic. Hence, behaviour can be assumed to be, for instance, neither rational in the neoclassical sense nor maximizing. What matters is less the coherence of the various assumptions about what is the driving force of human action but rather their realism. This give rise to an openness that is a source of strength rather than weakness. Unlike the mainstream that views progress in explaining economic phenomena on the basis of a researcher’s capacity to protect theoretical coherence and core methodological unity, heterodox economics is open to competing methodologies that free economic analysis from a pre-imposing logic. This pluralism of heterodox thinking can only be liberating and form the basis of true scientific progress within the broad discipline of what historically had been described as political economy.

Mathew Forstater

Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA

Heterodox Political Economy (HPE) is:

  • Interdisciplinary.Disciplinary chauvinism of mainstream economics results in a narrow approach inappropriate for addressing complex real-world problems.
  • Historical.History of thought and economic history, but also theory itself must be approached historicallythere are no universal economic laws.
  • Systemic.Capitalism is a social systemof powera regime.
  • Structural.Institutions do not simply emerge from individual rational behaviors. Structures create contexts for human agency.
  • Comparative.Case studies indispensible.
  • Institutional.Embeddedness/Ideology of disembeddedness.
  • Qualitative.HPE needs qualitative methods.
  • Cultural.Not just precapitalist; contemporary economies, including our own, must be approached anthropologically.

Long Live the Worldly Philosophy!

Neva Goodwin

Co-director of the Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University, USA

1. Heterodox economists are not shy about letting on that they careabout human well-being, broadly defined, about the health of the environment, and about the situation of people and the Earth in the future. In contrast, mainstream 20th century economics posed as value-neutral, eschewing goals. This was of course not realistic: social sciences are about people; and people, including social scientists, are strongly motivated by a variety of values and goalsnot only by the self-interest that was assumed, by the old mainstream to be the only economically relevant motivation.

2. As of 2012 the old mainstream continues to dominate most economics departments in the United States; however a majority of students are fed up (as indicated by the fact that only a very small proportion of those taking an introductory economics course go on in the field). They have been uneasy with the ethical and psychological implications of the mainstream for a long time, but alternatives were rarely available, and when they were, they were often too narrow. There were some heterodox economists who cared about peoplewhether from a Marxist or some other moral perspectiveand others who cared about the environment. Heterodox economists are increasingly realizing that it must not be either/or.

3. To advance heterodox economics the most essential thing is to make it possibleeven agreeablefor teachers to teach and for students to learn about the real economy in the real world. This requires talking about the things that matter to human beings, and showing how the study of economics is relevant to those concerns. As an example of the emphasis on well-being, the heterodox textbooks,Micro-and Macro-Economics in Context, define economics as the study of how people manage their resources to meet their needs and enhance their well-being. Additionally, in order to emphasize the importance of the future, these texts add to the usual three essential economic activities (production, distribution, and consumption) a fourth: resource maintenance. These may seem like small changes, but they shift the ground in a basic manner away from the materialist emphasis on satisfaction of consumer desires (however transient) and maximizing economic growth (however unsustainable).

4. Stay grounded. In your thinking and reading maintain a high proportion of fact to theory. Be aware not only of current events but also of historya very rich field for observing different kinds of economies, working in different ways. Of course facts always come filtered, through your perspective or someone elses. Common sense is a filter too often left out of economics. One of the hardest thingsand among the most important is to have the courage to seek out histories as well as descriptions of the present world that come from perspectives different from your own. At the same time, know, honor and be honest about your own values. In sum: care, while being thoughtful about what you care about; stay grounded; respect common sense, and have courage.

Note that following this advice will make economics both more complex and less mysterious. Simplification with obfuscation have been among the qualities that have allowed an often irrelevant and sometimes false discipline to resist challenges. If heterodox approaches are to expand their audience, they will need to develop in ways that allow knowledge and understanding to be cumulative. The mathematized, deductive methodologies of the old approach achieved the appearance of a cumulative science (while, in fact, forgetting or ignoring much valid knowledge from the past). If we are to achieve a discipline that can advance cumulatively while being open to important complexities of the real world we will need to be highly creative; perhaps taking advantage of new information-handling technologies, while also making a virtue of plain language that is welcoming to anyone.

Paolo Ramazzotti

Professor of Public Policy at the University of Macerata, Italy

I think there are various strands of thought within heterodox economics. This is one instance where variety is good. As far as I am concerned, I would emphasize that:

The economy is interdependent with the social and natural environment. It is an open system.

Economic relations are characterized by sequential interaction within a cumulative process (Kapp).

As a result of the previous two items, we should conceive of the present as history (Sweezy).

Many economists have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it (Marx, who actually referred to philosophers).

Economic inquiry should focus on the means to achieve a possible civilization (Keynes), one where the economy is re-embedded in society.

When theorizing or assessing economic thought, relevance should prevail over internal consistency. Prior to answers there must be questions (Myrdal).

I think there is more to heterodox economics than what distinguishes it from the mainstream.

Paul Davidson

The co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, USA

An Arrow-Debreu (Walrasian) model is the backbone of Mainstream economic theories. Heterodox economic theories, therefore, are (or should be) defined as any economic theory that throws over one or more of the fundamental axioms underlying the Walrasian classical equilibrium system. Consequently heterodox economics should be perceived as a threat to the applicability to the world of experience of the logical conclusions of Walrasian [classic equilibrium] theorynamely that flexible wages and prices and free competitive market actions [without any government interventioni.e., laissez-faire] assures a social optimum economic performance.

Nevertheless many economists who object to the Walrasian social optimum conclusion, profess a theoretical model that reaches non-Walrasian conclusions regarding the operation of unfettered markets, even though their model is based on a Walrasian system. Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesian and New Keynesians, for example, accept the Walrasian system but argue that wages (and prices) are fixed (or at least sticky) so that the gross substitution axiom cannot work, at least in the short run, and therefore labor markets do not automatically clear. Since these models requires synthesizing basic neoclassical theory with Keynesian outcomes, these theorists are, by definition, mainstream in that they admit that the backbone of their theoretical analysis is a classical equilibrium analysisto which they have added some ad hoc constraint to prevent all markets clearing. Since it is either monopolists that prevent free flexible competitive pricing or labor unions who fix wages (and/or who pressure governments to enforce minimum wage rates), therefore these theories are accepted by mainstream classical theorists since the villains who prevent a social optimum are labor unions and/or monopolists. And such a conclusion is consistent with the Walrasian system.

Many economists, e.g., Marxists, argue that monopoly permeates the structure of industrial firms and therefore prevents the market place from working its classical wonders. Please note that such economists, although they may consider themselves heterodox, are, by definition, still mainstream economists in that they rely on some economic power constraint to prevent an otherwise free market from achieving an optimum solution.

Keynes, on the other hand, produced a truly heterodox theory when his general theory threw out three fundamental classical axioms. A theory is more general when it relies on fewer axioms. The three classical axioms that Keynes overthrew are: (1) the neutral money axiom, (2) the ergodic axiom and (3) the ubiquitous gross substitution axiom. If money is not neutral, then changes in the quantity of money can affect output without necessarily affecting prices. Since the classical ergodic axiom presumes the future is predetermined and can be reliably predicted based on existing market data, then in such a system the government cannot, in the long run, change this predetermined path. If the economic system is nonergodic, on the other hand, then the future is fundamentally uncertainty and not predetermined and not just probabilistic risky.

Consequently, Keyness theory emphasized that decision makers knowing that the future is uncertain and non predictable, therefore organize production and exchange transactions on the basis of legal monetary contracts that the State will enforce. Accordingly these decision makers base their important economic decisions on liquidity consideration, i.e., on their ability to meet future monetary commitments, and not just on the potential real outcomes off any contractual agreement. Moreover, in this uncertain economic environment saving decisions are made in the form of the accumulation of money and other liquid financial assets, while investment decisions are made in terms of the accumulation of real capital assets [plant and equipment] and there is no gross substitution between financial assets and real assets. Consequently a decision to save is not equivalent to a decision to invest. In such an economic system, unemployment can occur whether prices are flexible or not.

Many economists consider themselves heterodox merely because the mainstream economic establishment and professional journals have rejected their ad hoc constraint analysis of the Walrasian economic systemalthough by definition they are bound by the some underlying logic of the classical system as are Monetarists, New Classicalists, Neoclassical Keynesians and New Keynesians. Rejection of their ideas by the mainstream do not make such theorists heterodox merely because they are not welcomed by mainstream economists. They should be considered heterodox only when they reject one or more of the fundamental classical axioms.

Peter E. Earl

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia

Heterodox economists are different because they are unwilling to compromise being able to address the complexity of the real world in order to construct formal models. They are going to become increasingly rare in Australia as the lack of heterodox journals on the A list of Excellence in Research Australia limits prospects for being hired or promoted, and as requirements for mainstream coursework deter heterodox PhD students. Heterodox economists should switch to the Real-World Economics brand and try operating covertly under the guise of pluralism, showing the value added by incorporating non traditional variables alongside mainstream ones in applied economics.

Randy Albelda

Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA

Heterodox economics differs from mainstream economics in at least three important ways: its focus on the sources and reproduction of unequal power relations with an eye toward making them more equal; an appreciation and integration of history; and a keen sense of the purpose of methods and methodology in understanding real economic phenomena. Together these make for a much richer, wider, and grounded analysis of society in general and economic activity in particular.

Despite a substantial number of heterodox economists in the United States, the key organs of production and reproduction of economists is tightly held by mainstream economists, which limits the influence of heterodox economists and makes it difficult to advance heterodox economics in the US.

Richard D. Wolff

Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Visiting Professor, GraduateProgram in International Affairs, New School University, New York City

Orthodoxy, like heterodoxy, lies largely in its beholders eyes. Across the nineteenth century, Marxian economics contested the orthodoxy of classical political economy much as socialism contested capitalism. Across the twentieth, Marxian economics struggled to redefine its specific heterodox difference as orthodoxy swung between neoclassical and Keynesian economics, capitalism alternated between regimes of less and more state economic intervention, and classical socialism peaked. Its new reformulation articulates a self-consciously non-determinist theory of class (defined in terms of the production, appropriation and distribution of surpluses). Such a Marxian economics represents a new, systematic, and well-developed alternative to both neoclassical and Keynesian economics.

Robert E. Prasch

Professor of Economics, Middlebury College, USA

0. Personally, I dislike the term Heterodox Economics (although I do not have a good substitute). This is for two reasons. First, it defines the scholarship of a diverse range of thinkers solely in terms of what they reject. An unfortunate, if unintended consequence, is that it reaffirms the centrality of Neoclassical Economics. Second, it presumes a unity among non-Neoclassical scholars. There are, and remain, important distinctions between the Austrian, Institutionalist, Marxist, Post Keynesian, and other traditions, although any one writer (myself included) may work across two or more of them. I would, however, hasten to add that to be an educated (as opposed to trained) economist, one must know more than one approach to economics.

Within this context, let me now address the five assigned questions:

1. To an important degree, this depends upon the tradition within one is writing. For myself, the crucial distinction concerns the validity of assumptions (and implicitly my rejection of the so-called positivist tradition in economics). I readily agree that theorizing is based on abstractions and that abstractions simplify the events, motivations, and meanings that we collectively call reality. However, I would argue that our abstractions should be grounded on the essence of the economic system (or subsystem) under study. There is, in short, a difference between simplifying and simplistic, just as there is a different between abstraction and distortion. The latter, as we have seen, can too readily become the basis of ideology rather than social science.

2. I accept the Classical Schools understanding that economics is the Science of Wealth. As such, I firmly and unapologetically believe that the allocation of scarce resources among competing ends better describes Operations Research. Operations Research is an important and useful field; one worthy of sustained inquiry, but it is of limited use to economists.

3. To be blunt, our current position is precarious. The future, though hard to discern, may be brighter. Our greatest challenge is that our remaining numbers and access to accredited PhD programs have become so reduced that they may now be below the levels necessary to maintain a steady-state. Yet, curiously, the Neoclassical School is also in a weakened position. They have been hollowed out from inside, by the rise of Game Theory, Behavioral Economics, the New Institutional Economics, etc. It is fair to say that most recent PhDs are now empiricists who see themselves as uncommitted to a school of economic thought (although most tend to support Neoliberal economic institutions and policies). The Neoclassical School has also been undermined by events, including the botched transition of Russia and other East European nations in the early 1990s, the Financial Crisis of 2007-09, the steady rejection of Neoliberalism across Latin America, and the ongoing crisis plaguing the Euro Zone. So, to sum up, the situation is in flux.

4. Collectively and individually we know a lot about the actual economy, how it functions, and how it fails. This might appear to be an advantage, except that those of us who are professors are rated, hired, and fired almost entirely on the basis of our contributions to (mainstream) academic economicswhich is not exactly the same subject. But, that said, we can and should work in spaces where we have an advantage. So I would suggest that we remain true to ourselves and our traditions while reaching out to audiences that appreciate us for what we have to contribute. Besides each other, these would include researchers in the related Social Sciences, those mainstream colleagues who are willing to collaborate with us, and that portion of the reading public that remains interested in ideas. History informs us that the powers that be rarely appreciate a clear-eyed vision of the economic system. However, a portion of our society will always be interested in the Real World. The risk is that developing and disseminating such an understanding may not pay the bills.

5. Survival in a less-than-welcoming academy renders it necessary for one to becomein some manner or formindispensable. As things stand, the most reliable means to this end is to excel at teaching. This is necessary because positions at the top twenty research universities are simply closed to scholars working outside the mainstream, and the next twenty on the list have every incentive to become caricatures of the top schools. The reason for this de facto policy of exclusion is not solely ideological. In this era of austerity, research faculties are expected to garner substantial outside funding, and these funds are typically granted to scholars whose work serves the funders ends. Periodically, our interests may overlap with those of a major funder. But it would be foolish for an intellectual to rely on such contingencies for a livelihood. Hence, most of us will survive professionally on the basis of our ability to teach.

I would specifically suggest becoming an indispensable teacher of ones field of choice along with at least one of the subjects at the core of the economics major: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, or Statistics/Econometrics. Expertise in one of the latter fields is important for two reasons: (1) department chairs will appreciate your flexibility when scheduling classes and (2) because you do not want to position yourself or your ideas as peripheral to the study of economics. The good news is that, for better-or-worse, the high cost of tuition is forcing teaching-oriented colleges and universities to prioritize superior classroom performance. As many of our students have at least a passing interest in the Real World, teaching remains a place where we have an advantage over many of our mainstream colleagues.

Robert Pollin

Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of PERI, Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst

My late, great professor Bob Heilbroner observed as follows in his 1988 book Behind the Veil of Economics: "Too often a vehicle for mystification, economics can best become an instrument for enlightenment if we see it as the means by which we strive to make a workable science out of morality." How can we heterodox economists most effectively take up Heilbroner’s challenge? Let’s first insist that economics not be dominated by the orthodox project of advancing neoliberalism. Economics, rather, needs to serve now, as it has in the past, as one useful tool that helps build more just and ecologically sustainable societies.

Sheila Dow

Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, UK

Heterodox economics has never been stronger and at the same time had such a great opportunity for gaining attention. The important challenge in my view is to communicate heterodox ideas successfully. This requires engagement with policy-making, where orthodox theory has been found wanting, and the promotion of alternative theories. But it also involves conveying what heterodox economics entails at the level of ways of thinking about the economic process and of criteria for good theorising (in general, not just in times of crisis). This can best be achieved by advocating a pluralist structure for the education of economists.

Stephanie Seguino

Professor of Economics, University of Vermont, USA

A growing body of research finds that organizations that are diverse function better than those that are homogeneous, due to the greater number of perspectives that can be used in problem-solving and creative production.

Heterodox economists represent that diversity. Unlike mainstream economists, for which the details of everyday life and power imbalances do not seem to matter, heterodox economists embrace real world phenomena, putting forth a vibrant, energetic analysis of how economies do function, and the way forward to create conditions for broadly shared economic well-being.

The challenge for all of the various streams of heterodox economics is to avoid becoming too insular, with attendant risks of a sclerotic analytical framework. This suggests that the health of heterodox economics depends on interaction and exchange across the various branches: post-Keynesian, Kaleckian, feminist, structuralist, Marxist, Austrian, and more.

Tony Lawson

Professor of Economics and Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, UK

It is analytic to the notion of heterodoxy that it involves the rejection of some doctrine held to be true by a prevailing orthodoxy. The only doctrine that is common to all orthodox or mainstream contributions (of the last 50 years) is the insistence on using methods of mathematical modelling. Heterodoxy is in effect an opposition to this emphasis. Suggesting this, does not mean that heterodox economists all recognise that this the situation. Many heterodox economists reject the mainstream because it is consistently unrealistic without realising that the latter is primarily due to the emphasis on mathematical modelling. Of course, heterodox economists, when employing mathematical models, fail to do any better. Claiming, as many do, that the problem is really (not the modelling emphasis but) a theory called neoclassical economics only serves to muddy the waters and hinder progress.

Vladimir A. Masch

President, Risk Evaluation and Management, Inc.

The present economic turmoil makes us, once again, return to Keynes. But it would be primitive and wrong to consider only his currently fashionable deficit financing ideas and similar narrow issues. (Moreover, following only this part of his legacy would be counterproductive.) He was the Einstein of economics, and, like Einstein, he was much broader than his discipline: he was a Thinker. The most important true philosophical legacy of Keynes can be reduced to three principles, expressed by him explicitly or implicitly.

I. There is no universal economics: different approaches should be applied under different states of the society and the economy and under different problems facing them.
II. Economics is based on logic of choice, not under scarcity alone, but rather under both uncertainty and scarcity, perhaps with uncertainty playing more important role.
III. Lower level market activities are beneficial, butif the economy is not considered autonomousthey should be controlled, constrained, and directed, at a higher level, by a non-market entity that pursues broad sociopolitical goals.

There are no absolutes in society, and there exist no timeless rules of behavior or decision-making that can be taken as axioms. Economics cannot be constructed as an axiomatic (deductive) theory. There are only approximate rules of thumb, which sometimes are applicable and sometimes are not. Even the most basic tenets of economics are therefore no more than temporarily acceptable approximations of reality. How acceptable are those approximations? That depends on the then current stage of the society and the economy. What was completely satisfactory yesterday might become unacceptable tomorrow. (from In the Century of Black Swans, Modern Economics Deserves Creative Destruction,The Huffington Post, May 12, 2010).

William M. Dugger

Professor of Economics, The University of Tulsa, USA

1. The economy is oppressive and inefficient because of how it actually evolved and how it actually works. Capitalism and markets are historical results of the use of power by a self-serving minority and the resistance by an insurgent majority composed of deprived and oppressed others seeking to unite and overcome. The others are people of color, of peripheral countries, of under classes, of de-centered genders and of outcast religious and ethnic groups. Oppressing them pulls society into a vicious circle of poverty. Heterodoxy aims to turn the vicious circle of poverty into a virtuous circle of abundance. Orthodoxy aims to justify and strengthen the vicious circle. Orthodoxy studies the allocation of scarce resources to unlimited wants with emphasis on justifying the status quo. Heterodoxy studies the social provisioning process, with emphasis on changing the status quo to perform better for the dispossessed. Heterodoxy facilitates abundance; orthodoxy facilitates scarcity.

2. Heterodoxy has found that injustice does exist out there in the real world and unfairly treated people are trying to change it. Reality is on heterodoxys side. Regardless of what allegedly value-free assumptions and models are used to defend the status quo, mistreated people do make actual value judgments and they do make them in the context of what is actually happening in the world they have to deal with. Heterodoxy is a value-explicit exploration of how injustice has come about and how to overcome it.

3. Reality is on our side but power is not. Heterodoxy, being an intellectual movement, is dependent upon the social movements and class struggles of the people who are moving against their mistreatment. Intellectuals and academic ideas are not the prime movers; the social movements formed by the dispossessed are. Heterodoxy is catching its second wind in the current epoch. The first wind blew in the 1960s. Now, the upsurges against the current crisis are blowing the second wind. Along with it comes the backlash of repression exercised by the powerful. We are now caught up in both the upsurge and the repression.

4. Teach the truth as we see it. Write our own textbooks. Challenge the authority of the curriculum. Do the best intellectual work we can for as long as we can. Share it widely by publishing not only in academic journals but also in books, newspapers and most importantly of all, in the internet. Wikis are our friends. Pluralism and open sourcing are our friends. Write avidly and honestly for things like Wikipedia and for everything on the net that we can. Do it fearlessly and honestly. Join with others who do the same.

5. Have fun. Pursue peace, love, equality, abundance and nonviolence. Read Thoreau. Turn Green. Read Veblen. Turn Red. Read Marx. Turn Scarlet. Read Kropotkin. Turn anti-authoritarian. Write your own stuff. Smile and tell the truth. Get up and do it again.

William T. Ganley

Professor of Economics & Finance, SUNY Buffalo State College, US

1. Heterodox economics is distinctive for the utilization of methodological pluralism and the search for the analysis of economic reality. How different than economic orthodoxy with its placement of reality into neoclassical empty boxes!

2. Economic crises created opportunities for heterodox theories to explain the present day economic situation; juxtaposed with the failure of orthodox economics.

3. Now is the time for us to reach new audiences in the general public and the halls of academia. The popularization of heterodox ideas has never been more important.

4. Young heterodox economists: take heterodox economic theory to the people. Power to the people!

Wolfram Elsner

Professor of Economics, Institute for Institutional and Innovation Economics (iino), Faculty of BusinessStudies and Economics, University of Bremen, Germany

Heterodoxy is about interdependence among heterogeneous agents, complexity, true uncertainty, search, adaptation, and complex process, learning to coordinate, processes with multiple equilibria and manifold lock-ins. About reducing complexity through emergent structure and instrumental institutions, with mutual foundations of macro through micro and meso, and vv. It is about power, status, and the dominance of ceremonialism in the capitalist market economy, which is crisis-prone and with its neoliberal degeneration overly turbulent, unsustainable, and inacceptable; thus about building collective action capability for realizing higher-level rationality.

In Germany, economics is particularly orthodox and anti-pluralist, with its mission to transform German post-WWII-welfare state into a proper Anglo-Saxon system.

We have largely determined economic research questions the last three decades. But mainstream teaching, textbooks, and public advise remained unswayed. Lets get clustered! Any established heterodoxer become mentor and advisor of 15 younger heterodoxers. And say, write, and teach real-world economics from first semester. No longer anti-plural, toxic textbooks, just because the curricula prescribe it. Use only non-toxic textbooks. Students will appreciate it and get good jobs.