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844. Whither pluralism in economics education? New empirical evidence

Working Paper n.844 - Ottobre 2020

Martina Cioni

DEPS, USiena

Maria Alessandra Rossi

Department of Economics, University of Chieti-Pescara


In the past two decades, dissatisfaction for the state of introductory economics teaching and standard textbooks has grown among economists, students and employers alike. The collective project under the acronym “CORE” – Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics – has proposed a prominent alternative, fiercely criticized mostly by heterodox economists, which broadens the range of topics featured in the textbook, but presents them without emphasizing controversy and disagreement within the discipline (an approach their proponents have described as “pluralism by integration”). This paper provides preliminary empirical evidence on the question whether this approach leads to “indoctrination effects” similar to those the literature has highlighted for standard introductory economics courses. It finds evidence of these effects and identifies some students’ features associated with them. Overall, the results point to the need for a variant of pedagogical pluralism that places greater emphasis on the comparison of alternative perspectives without falling prey to “paradigm tournament”.


Economics Education, Pluralism, Mainstream and Heterodox Economic Approaches

Jel Codes

A22, B41, B50