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Swiss National Gathering (Nov. 2021)

Rethink Economics

April 1, 2022 - Summary of the Workshop’s Approach and Outcomes, and of the Learnings from the Presentations on Feminism in Economics. On November 6th 2021, the Swiss network of Rethinking Economics met for its yearly National Gathering. The morning was focused on an internal workshop to brainstorm where we would like to be as a movement three years from now. The afternoon was centered around the topic of Feminism in Economics, with two economists invited to present their work on gender, feminism, and economics: Ana Costa-Ramón and Mascha Madörin. The insights from these two presentations are described further below. First, this blog will

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Swiss Secondary Education Reform (Matura/maturité) — an open letter

Rethink Economics

September 13, 2021 - The Swiss Secondary Education is currently being reformed. Such a process last took place in 1994. This is an important moment to include more pluralism and considerations of sustainability in economics education at the secondary education level in Switzerland. The letter has been written with the support of Rethinking Economics Switzerland. There are two ways in which you can sign to support this, as a teacher or as an academic. For ease, we have placed the open letter also below. You will find additional French and German versions in the links above. Open letter from academics and teachers: Swiss secondary

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What do economics students want for their Bachelor?

Rethink Economics

August 9, 2021 - Every once in a while, a university must rethink their Bachelor curriculum to better match a new generation of students. However, understanding the needs and desires of those young minds proves to be a complicated task. Rethinking Economics Lausanne and oikos Lausanne conducted a survey of past and current students to evaluate and identify improvement opportunities in the Bachelor in Economics and Bachelor in Management programs of the University of Lausanne. Overall, the students who answered the survey requested a more sustainable approach of economics/management, more opportunities to apply their skills, a more pronounced link with economic events, and more

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Lack of Economic Pluralism Undermines Education for Sustainable Development in Post-obligatory Ed

Rethink Economics

February 8, 2021 - The cover image of one of the most widely used economics textbook in Swiss post-obligatory education depicts the following scene : a young boy, probably an apprentice, is working hard and sweating to build something. No boss is around, but the government is reclaiming its share, which goes to waste. This image is powerful. It conveys a politically conservative message, glorifying private efforts and vilifying public coordination. Class and the environment are left out of the picture. It could be a coincidence, but this way of introducing students to economics is strongly reminiscent of the approach proposed in mainstream academic

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Three “viral” lessons: the pandemic teaches

Rethink Economics

June 3, 2020 - Lesson no. 1: You can’t make history in history. Good historiography has always been conducted retroactively, or rather when events come to an end and not during: some form of detachment is required in order to pass judgment and recount them. From Marc Bloch to Fernand Braudel, this is a fixed, clear and essential point for any self-respecting historian. Everything else belongs to the realm of journalism. Nonetheless, in this day and age newspapers appear to be the most revered and the most harnessed source of information, in lieu of books, papers or textbooks. It is a mass media function,

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Is Behavioural Economics the New Mainstream?

Rethink Economics

January 13, 2019 - Since Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Price in Economic Sciences in 2002, a new branch of economics gained academic and popular interest. That is, the so-called area of behavioural economics. It is based on the idea that human behaviour is often driven by non-rational motives, which are not sufficiently included by standard economic models. In fact, neoclassical economics consider the homo economicus as its main unit of analysis. He is individualistic, as he only thought about his own interests. He is also perfectly rational, being able to rank the utilities of all his possible choices, and fully informed on

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Economics is…

Rethink Economics

January 11, 2019 - Economics is dogmatic and monolithic Nowadays, economics in universities is taught from a sole perspective. That is, economic theory both in books and classes is reduced to one single theory: the Neoclassical one. Justified by the evolution of the history of economic thought, economics narrowed its approach to Neoclassical theory by neglecting other ones: Marxist, Post-Keynesian, Austrian, Institutional, Ecological, Feminist, Complexity, Cooperative and Behavioural (Fischer, et al., 2018). Those schools of thought address a diverse range of issues, by tackling them with different angles and a broad set of objects of analysis. Instead, Neoclassical economics treats those issues by adopting

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Deliberate Misunderstandings in Economics: What Pluralism Really Means

Rethink Economics

January 1, 2019 - When you explain to your professor what Rethinking Economics does, it is common for them to say: ‘I agree on certain things, but not on others’. The issue is that the things they don’t agree with are rather fundamental. The first thing they find fault with is concerned with pluralism. According to them, economics is already pluralist enough in the sense that it already deals with different kinds of issues: from health, education, agriculture and development to wars, politics and elections. Many argue that the range of topics covered is becoming broader and wider over time, reflecting its well-established pluralism.

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