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Blasphemy in the classroom: in search of microeconomics textbooks for heterodox instructors*

A review of:Peter Dorman, Microeconomics: A Fresh Start (Springer, Heidelberg and Berlin, Germany 2014) 533 pp.Wolfram Elsner, Torsten Heinrich, and Henning Schwardt, The Microeconomics of Complex Economies: Evolutionary, Institutional, Neoclassical, and Complexity Perspectives (Academic Press, Oxford, UK 2015) 600 pp.Lester Bumas, Introductory Microeconomics: Value Added Analysis (LOBooks/CreatSpace, North Charleston, NC, USA 2014) 360 pp.Irene van Staveren, Economics after the Crisis: An Introduction to Economics from a Pluralist and Global Perspective (Routledge, New York, NY, USA 2015) 458 pp.

Erik Dean and Mitchell R. Green

Keywords: heterodox economics; microeconomics; pluralism; pedagogy; curriculum; textbooks

In this review of introductory-level college textbooks for microeconomics we begin with the premise that heterodox economics is to be taken as independent from, and alternative to, the neoclassical mainstream. We argue that pluralistic curricula and pedagogical strategies should reflect this, rather than the too-common relegation of heterodoxy to a critical fringe or to nascent, yet fundamentally consistent, lines of inquiry. After defining common elements that we believe would be essential to a suitable introduction to heterodox economics, we review each of the four textbooks in search of a volume that is not just heretical to neoclassical economics, but truly blasphemous.

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