European Economics at a Crossroads

European Economics at a Crossroads

J. Barkley Rosser Jr, Richard P.F. Holt and David Colander

As Europe moves toward an integrated academic system, European economics is changing. This book discusses that change, along with the changes that are happening simultaneously within the economic profession. The authors argue that modern economics can no longer usefully be described as ‘neoclassical’, but is much better described as complexity economics. The complexity approach embraces rather than assumes away the complexities of social interaction.

Chapter 9: Geoffrey Hodgson

J. Barkley Rosser Jr, Richard P.F. Holt and David Colander

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of education, methodology of economics, education, economics of education


This interview took place on 12 July, 2007, at Le Moulinage Ouest, Privas, Ardèche, France How did you come to move from being a computer programmer in Essex in the mid-1960s and a mathematics teacher in Manchester to becoming an economist in the 1970s? When I was between school and university, I used my mathematical knowledge as a computer programmer at a research institute in Essex in the 1960s. Computers were then slow and scarce. In 1963 Harold Wilson famously declared that a new Britain would be “forged in the white heat” of a scientific and technological revolution. Computers and technology were seen as instruments of a new rational order that would displace the ossified institutions of the past. In 1964 a socialist government was elected after 13 years of Conservatism in Great Britain, with Wilson as Prime Minister. I studied for my first degree in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Manchester in 1965–68. I was affected by political movements like the campaign against the war in Vietnam and I got drawn into left-wing politics. I got interested in economics while I was doing my first degree in Manchester. I was attracted by a subject with greater social relevance. After four years as a school teacher in mathematics, I returned in 1972 to the University of Manchester to study for a master’s degree in economics. I then got a job as a lecturer in economics. I have been in academia ever since. 132 Geoffrey Hodgson 133...

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