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What do undergraduates study in heterodox economics programs? An examination of the curricula structure at 36 self‐identified programs

Reynold F. Nesiba (Based in the Economics Department at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 10 August 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the undergraduate curricular structure of 36 self‐identified heterodox economic programs in the USA, Australia, UK and Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

The author gathers, summarizes, compares and contrasts the structure of 36 undergraduate heterodox departments. Departments are classified into traditional, plausibly pluralistic, and demonstrably heterodox programs. Specific examples illustrate each classification.

Findings

With notable exceptions described here, most heterodox economics programs are structured as traditional mainstream departments with a few pluralist or political economy electives available. However, 20 departments exist that require at least one heterodox course; eight require two or more.

Practical implications

A few programs have created imitable curricular structures that one would expect to significantly influence the depth and breadth of heterodox perspectives presented in the undergraduate economics major.

Originality/value

This is the first published analysis of undergraduate heterodox economics curricula. It highlights the creative structures characterizing some of the English‐speaking world's best programs and demonstrates that the curricula in most programs lack required courses in heterodox economics. The paper also provides examples of intentionally heterodox programs that may serve as models for others to emulate.

Keywords

Citation

Nesiba, R.F. (2012), "What do undergraduates study in heterodox economics programs? An examination of the curricula structure at 36 self‐identified programs", On the Horizon, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 182-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/10748121211256784

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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