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.