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The Making of a European Economist

David Colander, Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Economics, Middlebury College, US
David Colander’s highly original and thought provoking book considers ongoing changes in graduate European economics education. Following up on his earlier classic studies of US graduate economic education, he studies the ‘economist production function’ in which universities take student ‘raw material’ and transform it into economists, In doing so he provides insight into economists and economics.
Extent: 200 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 639 7
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $47.00 Web: $37.60
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 641 0
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics of Education
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Methodology of Economics
  • Teaching Economics
  • Education
  • Economics of Education
  • Teaching and Learning
David Colander’s highly original and thought provoking book considers ongoing changes in graduate European economics education. Following up on his earlier classic studies of US graduate economic education, he studies the ‘economist production function’ in which universities take student ‘raw material’ and transform it into economists, In doing so he provides insight into economists and economics.

He argues that until recently Europe had a different ‘economist production function’ than did the US; thus European economists were different from their US counterparts. However, this is now changing, and Colander suggests that the changes are not necessarily for the best. Specifically, he suggests that in their attempt to catch up with US programs, European economics is undermining some of their strengths-strengths that could allow them to leapfrog US economics in the future, and be the center of 21st century economics. Student views on the ongoing changes and ensuing difficulties are reported via surveys of, and interviews with, students in global European graduate programs. The conclusion draws broad policy implications from the study, and suggests a radically different market approach to funding economic research that Colander argues will help avoid the pitfalls into which European economics is now falling.

This unique and path-breaking book will prove essential reading for economists, as well as academics, students and researchers with a special interest in economics education, the methodology of economics, or the history of economic thought.
‘The book is fascinating to read not only by someone like me who is not really an economist, but has been close to the field and has been teaching students of economics for a long time, but mainly by policymakers both in the field of higher education and in other fields like business where the larger aspects of societal changes are more and more apparent. The book is even more worth-reading to an audience of economics professors, researchers, students and particularly policymakers who are waiting for input from economic higher education. . .’
– Mariana Nicolae, Journal of Philosophical Economics

‘In this captivating volume, David Colander scrutinizes economics in Europe, which is currently undergoing a radical process of convergence, standardization and metrication. While he acknowledges that the USA is the world leader in terms of journal publications in economics, he also suggests that the scholarly breadth and practical orientation of much economics research in Europe is worth preserving and enhancing. No-one who wishes to make economics more relevant should ignore Colander’s painstaking study.’
– Geoffrey M. Hodgson, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Contents: Preface Part I: Introduction 1. Introduction 2. The Making of a Global European Economist: Survey Results Summary Part II: Qualitative Results of the Survey 3. What Makes a Successful Economist? 4. What Students Like and Dislike about Graduate Work in Economics 5. Are Economists Relevant? Part III: Student Interviews 6. LSE Interviews 7. Pompeu Fabra Interviews 8. Bocconi Interviews 9. Stockholm School of Economics Interviews 10. Oxford Interview 11. Université Catholique de Louvain Interview Part IV: Conclusion 12. Conclusion: How Should Economists be ‘Made’? References Index