Economie Onderwijs

Commentaren op "Thinking like an Economist?"

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“Economics is a social science, not a lost branch of physics. The field of study of the economist is not, like that of the physicist in relation to the natural world, the foundation of society. It is just one, albeit important, dimension of human social interaction. The economy exists alongside and interpenetrated with the political and the social, in all their complexity. In some cases, the simplistic assumptions on which economics rests are good enough for the purposes of analysis. But at other times they are grossly inadequate or dangerously misleading. This important report demonstrates how far the study and teaching of economics, in its search for precision and tractability, sacrifices a deeper inquiry into what the subject is actually about.”

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator of The Financial Times

"This report is a very careful and thoughtful analysis of economics education in the Netherlands. It tells us how Dutch economists are educated and why that matters for society as a whole, and not just for the academia. It shows how the existing economics education programmes in the Netherlands, like in most other countries, are theoretically and methodologically narrow, detached from the real world, and negligent of the broader social, political, and ethical issues. In criticising the status quo, however, the report is not denouncing it but proposing a pluralistic and realistic path towards reforming it. It is hard to believe that a report with this level of sophistication was written by students. With students like this, the future of economics in the Netherlands may be bright after all."

Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User's Guide

“How can economists advocate free competition, but not practice this in the marketplace of ideas? This was central to the plea for pluralism that was published in the American Economic Review in 1992. And this remains relevant today, as illustrated by the report of Rethinking Economics. This is all the more timely in light of the need on the part of economics to draw lessons from the recent economic crisis. The report offers valuable recommendations for escaping the sub-optimal equilibrium in which much of the discipline finds itself.”

Esther-Mirjam Sent, professor in Economic Theory and Policy at the Radboud University and member of the Senate for the PvdA

“Deze degelijk onderbouwde studie laat zien dat het economie-onderwijs niet verder gaat dan het aanleren van een beperkte, kwantitatieve toolbox. En dat studenten en de samenleving beter onderwijs verdienen door een diversiteit aan theoretische benaderingen aan te bieden, een sterkere link met de echte wereld te maken en daarmee studenten een kritische blik aan te leren op de economie, economische analyses en economisch beleid.”

Irene van Staveren, professor of pluralist development economics at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam

“This report may well be the catalyst for the change in mindset that is required. The efforts of these “Rethinking Economics” students (...) in the Netherlands (...) deserve a big round of applause. It seems unlikely that the situation is any better elsewhere.”

William White, Chairman of the Economic and Development Review Committee, OECD

“Studenten die meer doen dan het officiële programma voorschrijft en zich actief met de inhoud van hun opleiding bemoeien – wie wil dat niet?! Dit rapport is een welkom pleidooi van economiestudenten voor meer pluriformiteit in de theorieën en methodes die zij onderwezen krijgen, om hen beter voor te bereiden op de economie van (over)morgen.”

Robert Went, senior researcher at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy

“Dit rapport gaat ons allemaal aan. Diverse transities haperen omdat het neoklassiek economisch denken domineert. Er is dan ook grote behoefte aan open-minded economen.”

Jan Rotmans, professor of transitions and transition management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam

“Rethinking Economics concludes for The Netherlands what we see around the (Western) world: Economics is based on a one-dimensional methodology of making ludicrous unworldly assumptions, apply math to that and think the resulting model, full of hilariously failing predictions, can be used to control the economic world. Disciplines like sociology, cognitive science, culture, anthropology, complexity and the history of economic thoughts are almost completely absent or taught in the periphery of neo-classical thinking. The consequence is that students are ill-prepared for their important tasks in society and often their fairy tale worldview causes more harm than good when used as basis for policy making or risk management.

The researchers justly call for increasing diversity in theoretical approaches at universities and studying economics in a multi-disciplinary context. Equally justified is their call for the teaching of critical thinking and learn how to counter theoretical  frameworks and have proper scientific debates.

This research hopefully helps to move economics from the stage of "astrology" into a truly scientific approach.”

Theo Kocken, professor of Risk Management, VU Amsterdam, CEO Cardano Group

“The Rethinking Economics report reminds us that economics should be about solving real world economic problems. A more diverse theoretical approach, beyond the homo economicus of neoclassical economics, is needed to analyse the Sustainable Development Goals. A multidisciplinary approach combining the economic, social and environmental dimensions is very welcome.”

Dirk Schoenmaker, professor of Banking & Finance, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam

“Een niet echt verrassende en toch een onthutsende studie van het economie onderwijs aan de Nederlandse universiteiten. Een bevestiging dat de huidige economische wetenschap het contact met de economische werkelijkheid kwijt is geraakt en irrelevant dreigt te worden.”

Arjo Klamer, professor of cultural economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam

“Whatever the biggest economic crisis in generations may have changed, not the way we educate the economic students, as this extensive research unfortunately shows.”

Rens van Tilburg, Director of the Sustainable Finance Lab

Studenten over dit onderzoek

“Economen spelen een onwijs belangrijk rol in onze samenleving. Ze leiden veel van de belangrijkste instituties, zoals de centrale bank en verschillende ministeries. Afgestuurde economen zouden daarom gegronde kennis van de Nederlandse economie moeten hebben. In plaats daarvan leren zij een tunnelvisie op de economie. We leren niet op verschillende manieren na te denken en ideeën te bevragen.”

Sam de Muijnck, 3e jaar BSc Economie student Nijmegen

“Onze samenleving staat voor enorme uitdagingen, zoals klimaatverandering, groeiende ongelijkheid en politiek extremisme. Ik heb economie gestudeerd omdat de economie in de kern van deze uitdagingen zit. Maar in mijn opleiding heb ik niet geleerd hoe onze economie echt werkt.”

Joris Tieleman, oprichter Rethinking Economics NL en afgestudeerde MSc Economie, VU

“De economiestudent heeft recht op academisch, kritisch en pluralistisch onderwijs. Het onderwijs dat nu op Nederlandse universiteiten wordt gegeven is geen van dit alles en zorgt voor weinig creatieve economen, waardoor de belangrijkste hedendaagse vraagstukken onbeantwoord blijven.”

Tijmen de Vos, voorzitter ASVA Studentenunie en 3e-jaars student BSc Economics and Business, UvA


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