Tag Archives: Frederic Lee

A letter to the IAFFE community (by Dr. Todorova)

Dear IAFFE members,

By now many of you may know about the passing of one of the most passionate and prominent heterodox economists Fred Lee. In February 2014 Fred was diagnosed with a non-smoker lung cancer. In May 2014 he retired from the University of Missouri – Kansas City – where he worked tirelessly to advance heterodox economics as a movement, the success of the department, and the development of heterodox economic theory.

Fred has published in Feminist Economics, and in his 2009 book on the History of Heterodox Economics, he writes about sexism in the Economics profession, among other injustices. He has emphasized many times publicly and privately that he drew on feminist economics, on social economics, as well as on institutional economics to develop his most current analysis of social provisioning. He wanted to break divisions between heterodox economic approaches, and he was for intellectual pluralism. As you probably know, among other undertaking and hard work, he was also the founder of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter and the Heterodox Economics Directory – two important pieces of the infrastructure of heterodox economics and community: http://www.heterodoxnews.com

I think Fred’s most important concerns were: 1) building a growing community of heterodox economics; 2) reproducing teachers of heterodox economics; 3) building bridges across heterodox approaches and people; 4) a methodology that breaks the micro-macro split and allows a heterodox vision of agency; 5) a heterodox theory grounded in reality, including dispelling of the “price mechanism” and articulating an empirically supported alternative; and building heterodox micro-foundations;  and 6) economics centered on and supportive of people’s lives. His work along these lines is visible in the AFEE program that he put together for the ASSA conference in Boston 2015, while battling cancer.

There is a website created and maintained through the years by Tae-Hee Jo – you can find not only statements in memory of Fred Lee, but also other valuable material about economics: http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/

Here is information about the Frederic S. Lee Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund that was created by Fred and Ruth Lee: http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/fsl-scholarship/

FSL Heterodox Economics Scholarship | Professor Frederic S. Lee
The purpose of the Fund shall be to provide scholarships for tuition and fees, up to three classes per semester, for doctoral heterodox economics students. Eligibility:  The students eligible for a…

In sorrow,

Zdravka Todorova

Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Wright State University

Vice President
Association for Institutional Thought

SOAS Event Honoring Professor Frederic S. Lee


Calls for contributions for Professor Frederic S. Lee Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund in the honour of Professor Frederic S. Lee

  • Saturday 22nd November 2014, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Reception: 5pm – 7pm
  • Khalili Lecture Theatre

Professor Frederic Lee has been an active promoter of heterodox economics movements over the past 30 years with a major institutional contribution towards the development of heterodox economics in United Kingdom. He played a major role in establishing the Association for Heterodox Economics, founded and edited the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, edited the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, has been actively involved in heterodox associations such as AFEE, AFIT, AHE, ASE, EAEPE, HES, ICAPE, URPE, and so on.

This event will celebrate his activities towards establishing a truly heterodox and pluralist community of economists and not least his theoretical contributions towards developing foundations for heterodox economics.

Fred and his wife, Ruth, have recently established the Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund, which is designed to financially support doctoral heterodox economics students. The Scholarship is open to all doctoral students studying in a heterodox economics program, although currently preference is given to UMKC doctoral students due to the limited amount of funds.

To make a contribution to the Frederic S. Lee Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund, visit here (minimum donation of £16): https://gkccfonlinedonations.org/give/leeh00.asp

To learn more about the Fund, visit here: http://www.gkccf.org/scholarships/frederic-s-lee-heterodox-economics-scholarship-fund

If you wish to attend the event, please complete the form below by Wednesday 12th of November 2014




9.30am-10.00am     Coffee/Tea and arrival

10.00am-11.30am   Opening: Professor Chris Brammall (Head of the Economics Department, SOAS), Professor Jan Toporowski (SOAS), Dr Ioana Negru (SOAS), Dr. Jamie Morgan (AHE Coordinator)

10.30am-11.30am   Conversations with Geoff Harcourt (via Skype);

11.30am-11.45am   Tea/Coffee break

11.45am-1.00pm     Andrew Trigg, Bruce Philp and Paul Downward (Tales about AHE and Fred Lee)

1.00pm-2.00 pm      Lunch break (lunch is not provided)

2.00pm-2.30pm       Alan Freeman: Fred Lee’s contribution to pluralist economics (via Skype)

2.30pm -3.30pm      Andrew Mearman, Richard Van den Berg, Bruce Cronin

3.30pm-4.00pm        Tea/Coffee break

4.00pm-4.30pm       Sheila Dow: Fred Lee as a Critical pluralist (via Skype)

4.30pm-5.00pm       Andrew Brown: The Nature of Heterodox Economics

Including messages from Ben Fine, Tae-Hee Jo and Zdravka Todorova, Erik Olsen and Steve Keen


5pm-7pm      Speakers: Professor Jan Toporowski, Gary Slater and Bob McMaster

Venue: Main Building, SOAS, Russell Square

Nearest Underground station: Russell Square


Neoclassical Micro from a Heterodox Perspective



Frederic S. Lee
Department of Economics
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Dates Developed: 1981-3, 2001-14

For many years (1981-3, 2001-14) I have developed a critical presentation of neoclassical (or mainstream) economics for my graduate students.  I had intended to convert my lecture notes into a book, but health problem got in the way.  So I am unable to complete the task.  Therefore, I am making my notes/drafts of chapters available to anyone to either complete the task or at least use the notes for their own teaching and research.  I have written an article about the course which can be found at this link.  The problem sets, mathematical notes, and assessment (tests) can be found linked on the course outline on my homepage (http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs) under courses-Economics 5502:  http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/courses/econ-5502/.

The lecture notes/chapters have changed over time, but the core has remained the same (see below).  You will find that some Parts are relatively complete and others are not; also some parts are better developed and others are not.  This is why I have not published the lectures—much work needs to be done.  The lectures are calculus based in part because higher level mathematics provide no additional understanding of the theory and because the mathematics background of my students was only calculus.  Moreover, the lectures are both historically oriented (that is trying to provide an historical understanding of the development of neoclassical microeconomics since 1900); and critical in that neoclassical microeconomics is shown not to be a theoretically sound body of arguments—but precisely the opposite (I and Steve Keen published an article summarizing many of the criticisms—see the link).  Finally, the lectures try to provide an overall view of what neoclassical microeconomics is theoretically about.  That is, neoclassical microeconomics deals with the economy as a whole in a disaggregate fashion and tries to explain how the economy works through the price mechanism.  Whether one agrees with the theory or not is beside the point; neoclassical microeconomics attempts to provide a coherent theory of how the economy as a whole works.  This is why any attacks on the theoretical coherence and empirical support of neoclassical microeconomics is vigorously attacked:  such as the administered price/administered wage controversy, the cost controversy, and the marginalist/full-cost/normal cost pricing controversy (and of course there are others such as the capital controversy).  These controversies directly attacked the theoretical coherence of the price mechanism though the use of empirical evidence.  These controversies represent the most significant attack on neoclassical microeconomics (hence neoclassical economics as a whole); and the controversies are not yet over.  The lecture notes deal with these controversies in the ultimate chapter which is not yet written and this is to be brought together to deliver a final pronouncement of neoclassical microeconomics.  Somebody will now have to write that chapter.

Find out more here.