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 11: János Kornai

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 in Budapest, Hungary on 30 July, 2008 What is your overall reaction to this project? I was happy to hear about the project and to read parts of the first volume (Colander et al., 2004a) and portions of this one. I welcome your enthusiastic efforts to give an overview of heterodoxy out of mainstream, and to try and structure the ideas. There are certain characteristic elements of your project where I share your views, and we are in complete agreement, some on which I have no view, and then there are other issues where I believe you are leaving out certain aspects of contemporary economics, which I find important. The fact that you don’t discuss them can be a sign that you don’t find them important. There is little sense in discussing issues where I have no view or those issues where we agree. Thus, I hope we will spend much of the discussion on the disagreements, especially regarding matters you have left out of your presentation. Where I agree is in your description of the American economics profession. There, I’m both an insider and an outsider. I spent 18 years teaching at Harvard in the United States – from 1986 to 2002. I had taught at Princeton, Stanford and Yale before that. I agree with your description of the self-perpetuating, oligopolistic mechanism that reproduces itself. The world of ideas in American economics is not a monopoly, but there is a very powerful core that does not...

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