Monday, August 14, 2006

Textbooks For Teaching Non-Neoclassical Economics

Does an ideological or normative bias exist in mainstream teaching or practice? I think Gunnar Myrdal's The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory is still worth reading on this topic. Much good stuff has been written on this topic since, too.

In my "Creating Two-Good Reswitching Examples", I list some textbooks for teaching the Cambridge Capital Controversy:
  • S. Ahmad (1991). Capital in Economic Theory: Neo-classical, Cambridge, and Chaos, Edward Elgar
  • C. Bidard (2004). Prices, Reproduction, Scarcity, Cambridge University Press
  • E. Burmeister (1980). Capital Theory and Dynamics, Cambridge University Press
  • R. M. Goodwin (1970). Elementary Economics from the Higher Standpoint, Cambridge University Press
  • S. Keen (2001). Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences Pluto Press
  • H. D. Kurz and N. Salvadori (1995). Theory of Production: A Long-Period Analysis, Cambridge University Press
  • L. L. Pasinetti (1977). Lectures on the Theory of Production, Columbia University Press
  • J. Robinson and J. Eatwell (1973). Introduction to Modern Economics, McGraw-Hill
  • V. Walsh and H. Gram (1980). Classical and Neoclassical Theory of General Equilibrium: Historical Origins and Mathematical Structure, Oxford University Press.
  • J. E. Woods (1990). The Production of Commodities: An Introduction to Sraffa, Humanities Press International
These textbooks exhibit a range of rigor, level of mathematics, and assumptions about background. Burmeister's sympathies are clearly with the neoclassicals.

The above list reflects my focus on the CCC. But other focii are possible. Apparently David Krep's A Course in Microeconomic Theory is an introductory graduate text organized by game theory. In his competition, game theory is confined to selected chapters, instead of being an organizing principle.

I have seen references to some considerably less mainstream textbooks. Robin Hahnel's The ABC's of Political Economy: A Modern Approach and Hugh Stretton's Economics: A New Introduction are two I have seen some say nice things about.

There are more textbooks for Post Keynesians. A Marxist would have another list of textbooks. So a supply has been available for economists to teach something different. I suggest if the demand had been seen, even more textbooks would be forthcoming; one can find parts of ones put up here and there on the Web. David Colander is worth reading on the question of why mainstream economists do not alter their teaching, but I've already gone on long enough.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this list -- I will try to read some of these. I linked to this page from your recent comments (May 31/07) at Marginal Revolution.

Chris Pepin
Regina, SK, Canada

Emil Bakkum said...

If you understand the German language, then the books "Grundz├╝ge der neoricardianischen Preis- und Verteilungstheorie" and
"Die Redundanz der Mehrwerttheorie" may be of interest to you. They are written by Eberhard Feess-Doerr, and available from Metropolis Verlag.
Sincerely yours, Emil Bakkum (Netherlands)