Entrenched economics

October 9, 2014

The subject of economics appears to be stuck in a deep rut of rote learning, complex mathematical-based theory and squabbling over ideologies rather than devising good advice for business. So why, exactly, should the boss of a medium-size manufacturing company consider employing an economics graduate?

Brian Bloch’s ambitious suggestion of critical reflection on what is really happening out there in the economy (“Earth to economists: your ivory tower isolation is not an option”, News, 25 September) doesn’t pull readers out of the subject’s intellectual ditch unless students are equipped to investigate issues at the diverse social level, ie, real people in real jobs, not the jobs an academic thinks are being done.

Given that little is known about the problematic business world, it could strengthen economics if students were formally coached to learn what feet-on-the-ground organisational personnel are doing, and how to reach agreement over improvement.

Mathematics may have only a minor role in this (potential and exciting) branch of economics. Perhaps some departments have already escaped from the ditch.

Neil Richardson
Kirkheaton

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard