12. János Kornai 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...
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