Is There a Future for Heterodox Economics?

Institutions, Ideology and a Scientific Community

Geoffrey M. Hodgson ,

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Is There a Future for Heterodox Economics?: Institutions, Ideology and a Scientific Community

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'Hodgson's masterful review of orthodoxies and heterodoxies focuses on the absurdity of recommending planning, or scorning it, without answering the empirical question asked in the 1930s by the ''socialist calculation debate.'' How well does planning or the market work? Idealism assumes the answer without actually doing the science.
- Deirdre N. McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago, US

'Every young heterodox scholar should read this book, as should veteran heterodox economists who are puzzled about why important heterodox contributions have not had the impact they deserved to have. The book provides a compelling account of the challenges that heterodox economists have faced, and continue to face, and it leaves the reader with a strong sense that things could have been, and could be, much better if more heterodox economists strove to integrate compatible aspects of the many diverse approaches that constitute heterodox economics.'
- Peter E. Earl, University of Queensland, Australia

'Is there a future for the alternatives to mainstream economics? Dealing with this important question does not only require a deep understanding of the current economic theories and of the history of economic thought. It demands also a careful analysis of the institutional mechanisms by which scientific communities commit themselves to certain paradigms and change these commitments. In this excellent book Hodgson deals with all the dimensions of this complex issue.'
- Ugo Pagano, University of Siena, Italy

'Drawing a well-balanced picture of heterodox economics with its many political shades and theoretical nuances is no easy task. Professor Hodgson's mastery in solving the task sets new standards. His compelling analysis of the state and the future of the field is a ''must read'' for everyone in the heterodox camp and an invaluable source of information for all scholars in the history, philosophy, and sociology of economics.'
- Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany and Griffith University, Australia

Over the last 50 years, and particularly since the financial crash in 2008, the community of heterodox economists has expanded, and its publications have proliferated. But its power in departments of economics has waned. Addressing this paradox, Geoffrey M. Hodgson argues that heterodox economists are defined more by a left ideology than by a shared understanding of the nature of orthodox economics and of what should replace it. Heterodox economists cannot agree on what heterodoxy means.

Employing insights from the sociology and philosophy of science, the author explores the marginalization of heterodox economics in the academic community and its exclusion from positions of power. This perceptive book also shows how the weaknesses of a particular version of heterodoxy stemming from the Cambridge economics of the 1970s have been replicated globally in much of contemporary heterodox economics. The author considers how the field can adapt in order to improve and sustain its presence in academia.

Social scientists and economists will find this book both enlightening and useful. In particular, it will be invaluable to student networks and others critical of mainstream economics, and to those teaching economics at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

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