The self-destruction of Economics (1)

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Forty years ago, any stu­dent who enrolled in an under­grad­u­ate degree at the Fac­ul­ty of Eco­nom­ics at Syd­ney Uni­ver­si­ty in 1971 had to com­plete four year-long cours­es in eco­nom­ics, out of a total of ten such cours­es: Micro­eco­nom­ics and Quan­ti­ta­tive Meth­ods in the first year, Macro­eco­nom­ics in the sec­ond, and Inter­na­tion­al Eco­nom­ics in the third.

Fast for­ward to 2011, when the Fac­ul­ty of Eco­nom­ics and Busi­ness evict­ed the eco­nom­ics dis­ci­pline into the Arts Fac­ul­ty, and the eco­nom­ics-free enti­ty renamed itself as Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney Busi­ness School. There is now just one com­pul­so­ry semes­ter-long eco­nom­ics sub­ject (Eco­nom­ics for Busi­ness Deci­sion Mak­ing) in any Bach­e­lor of Com­merce degree at Syd­ney Uni­ver­si­ty, out of 24 such sub­jects – and that pat­tern is repli­cat­ed across the globe. Eco­nom­ics has declined from 40 per cent of any busi­ness-ori­ent­ed degree to 4 per cent in 40 years. For a pro­fes­sion obsessed with lin­ear regres­sion, it has suf­fered a near-per­fect lin­ear regres­sion of its own.

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.