Economic Pluralism

What is Economic Pluralism?

Just as almost any other academic discipline, Economics has different schools of thought. These are distinctive “ways of thinking” which approaches the discipline with different methods, assumptions and sometimes aims. The Economics curricula today mainly teaches what is called neoclassical economics, which has been the dominating school in economics for the last three decades.

Nevertheless, in light of the 2008 financial crisis, not only did many economists fail to predict it coming, but the neoclassical school theoretically denies that anything like it could ever happen. Whilst there has been disputes between the schools for a long time, this event has further raised the questioning of the neoclassical assumptions, its methods, and its ability to explain the economic system in a realistic way.

This has increased the relevance and need for Economic Pluralism (EP), a concept which (as sometimes misunderstood) does not neglect neoclassical economics, but argues for an economics discipline where a wide range of economic schools are included. EP is about acknowledging that there are many ways in which we can study the economy and that only learning the neoclassical way is insufficient for a complete understanding of it. A pluralist perspective would expose areas where the methodology and assumptions of each school is lacking and flawed, and would together encourage a critical and progressive economic discourse which could produce a more accurate, realistic and wellrounded understanding of our economy.