Talk:Heterodox economics movement

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 Definition A movement seeking to gain acceptance of ideas which are outside the mainstream of economic thought. [d] [e]


The most active contributor to this article, João Prado Ribeiro Campos, deleted his comments. Therefore, some of the comments that are left, below, will be hard to follow, since they are responses to deleted comments. --Larry Sanger 23:34, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

a couple questions

Could the article define what it means by "heterodox"? What are they heterodox in comparison to (was it the same in the early 19th century as it is today)? Also, all of the trends mentioned seem to be various forms of socialism. Would a more specific title perhaps be appropriate?—Nat Krause 17:29, 25 March 2007 (CDT)

Would not it be clearer to speak about alternative economic system arising as responses to failures of mainstream classical and neoclassical economics?
Crises of Capitalism in the nineteenth century gave rise to Marxist and Georgist economics. The 1930s gave rise to Social Credit of CH Douglas and Binary Economics of Louis Kelso. Admittedly none of these people were trained economists but that may be their strength in perceiving the flaws of dominant economic models.
Janos Abel 17:47, 17 April 2007 (CDT)


Can you, João, or anyone else for that matter, please replace all of the external links that are placed in-line in the body of this article with links to CZ articles? I did this with the first instance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Also, I assume that "Economic heterodox tradition" is a term of art among economists? --Larry Sanger 19:26, 25 March 2007 (CDT)

On point (1): you wrote, for example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This is a link that points to an external source. But in that place, instead of a link to an external source, we want a link to our own article, even if it does not exist yet: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We place links to external articles in an "External links" section in the endmatter. Please see CZ:Article Mechanics about endmatter. --Larry Sanger 22:46, 25 March 2007 (CDT)

Article title

I'm not an editor or scholar in economics (I do have my BA in this subject), but I don't recall hearing the term "economic heterodox tradition", precisely, before. Also, it gets no google hits at all.—Nat Krause 16:21, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

Begin with a definition

Please, do see CZ:Article Mechanics; articles should begin with definitions. "Heterodox tradition" means something in economics; what does it mean? Anything more precise than "socialism"? --Larry Sanger 20:15, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Locke a utopian socialist? Huh? --Larry Sanger 20:35, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, but none of that makes him a utopian socialist (of course!). --Larry Sanger 16:24, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

The conventional Marxist view of Locke is that he was a proto-capitalist. In particular, his view of property is seen as providing the moral base for mercantilism and accumulation of money. This was important because Locke's philosophy is grounded in the Christian religion, in which moral framework the accumulation of perishable goods is a mortal sin. The invention of money, however, removed this moral obligation from mankind because money does not perish [alas] and with this sleight of hand, Locke was able to justify highly unequal income and property distribution. I fail to see either utopian or socialist thinking in his Second Treatise. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:56, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
But surely he's a proto-capitalist as much as a proto-socialist, because of his emphasis on private property and individual rights. --Larry Sanger 17:11, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

List vs. explanation of concept

This article right now, as useful as it might be, takes the form of a list of thinkers who, it is alleged (but by whom?), are part of the "heterodox tradition." But in virtually none of this is it actually explained what the heterodox tradition is--and what members of this "tradition" might have in common that warrant us calling it a "tradition" at all--and why it matters. It is also important, I should think, to detail any criticisms of this tradition, if there are any in currency.

I don't understand what the difference is between the heterodox tradition and socialism, broadly construed. The claim is made that "Leading heterodox thinkers have moved beyond the established paradigms of Austrian, Feminist, Institutional-Evolutionary, Marxian, Post Keynesian, Radical, Social, and Sraffian economics," but the article proceeds to give all sorts of Marxian, Radical, Social, etc., thinkers as examples. The implication, I suppose, is that contemporary "heterodox thinkers" have "moved beyond" these "established paradigms." It also doesn't explain how they have "moved beyond," a claim which I find pretty hard to believe, frankly. Intellectual fads in every field are all too often just recycled, repackaged, relabelled versions of the same old hash; I doubt economic thinkers are any different.

Joao, I think we need to get some other economists and political theorists involved here; my feedback is not enough. --Larry Sanger 20:46, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Do as you please. J. R. Campos 23:52, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Editorial Opinion

Although I am sympathetic to many of the arguments made here, there are several issues which will not be acceptable to the vast majority of economists or to political theorists. They are as follows:

(1) The term "heterodox economic tradition" is not standard, and is therefore being reified by this article.

(2) The term itself is rather peculiar, in that although a case can be made that the authors listed are not part of the classical tradition, they do not constitute a coherent alternative tradition.

So why classify them together, other than to make a political point that they all opposed classical economic thought?

(3) The principal moving force, and primary reference point, for this article appears to be a pressure group known as Heterodox Economics Web. I had never heard of this group before, and despite my aversion to neoclassical economics, I am very reluctant to suggest that Citizendium should actively support this group.

(4) I suggest renaming the article, perhaps to Alternative approaches to economics. The links to the Heterodox Web are fine, in my view, but the recruitment of Citizendium in promoting their name is not ok. I have not looked in detail at the individual entries, but will do so when the time comes to approve the article. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:02, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

Do as you please, I am out of here. Enjoy your editorial. J. R. Campos 22:50, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
Is the term ""economic heterodox tradition" actually used anywhere outside of Citizendium?—Nat Krause 21:01, 1 May 2007 (CDT)
As far as I can tell, the phrase "economic heterodox tradition" does not appear on that site.—Nat Krause 20:47, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
I have been discussing the phrase "economic heterodox tradition". I take you have been discussing the phrase "heterodox tradition" in the context of economics? Regardless, I must note that the "heterodox tradition" does not appear on this page, either; it says "heterodox traditions".—Nat Krause 22:18, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

I am no expert on economics but as an author who can certainly research a topic and hear both sides without really caring which is right, it does appear to me that heterodox economics is probably not an article title we want, except as one that discusses it as a neologism for a relatively small movement of scholars who are attempting to gain momentum and mainstream acceptance of it as an umbrella term. One of "heterodox economics'" strong advocates, Tony Lawson, even admits to this characterization, see here, while appearing to me to seriously overplay what he says is a lack of scholarly dissent to the new "umbrella term". Even assuming Lawson is correct about such lack of dissent, I'd say he certainly errs in interpreting silence as assent. ---Stephen Ewen 23:38, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Next steps

I'm not sure where the latter list came from. Regardless, the question is not whether we can identify associations and professors as "heterodox" according to some definition, but whether the term "heterodox tradition" itself is in such common currency as to warrant our using the term uncritically. The term itself essentially asserts that there is something worth the name "tradition" here. That is, particularly if we merely and uncritically list off examples of thinkers in this alleged tradition, as this article does now, we are asserting that these thinkers together compose something that deserves the name "tradition." But, I suspect, very many economists are capable of denying this, and thus we are obligated by the Neutrality Policy to take that fact into account.

There is a more serious problem about the article, even if we are going to have an article titled "economic heterodox tradition." It is that the article is essentially a history of certain strands of economic thought. We want such a history, but we do not want the history to go under an idiosyncratic, but rather a neutral, name. I suspect that if we want an article titled "economic heterodox tradition," we ought to make it about this bit of jargon--what it means, who uses it, and so forth--and leave the economic intellectual history to another article.

What we need next from the Economics Workgroup--Martin, if he's the only editor on board--is a decision about exactly what to do. I doubt we should just leave this article as it sits.

João is free, of course, to leave if he wishes. But the threat of the departure of someone who doesn't get his way should not stop us from giving our honest judgment, if politely expressed. João, you must realize that this is a collaborative effort. Also, if you do remain with us, can you use just one depth of indentation within a single reply, and can you please refrain from chopping up other people's comments with your line-by-line replies? --Larry Sanger 16:52, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Do as you please. I do not not work under censorship. All my comments have been removed; enjoy your own Editorial. Farewell J. R. Campos 22:54, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

Constable Intervention

Gentlemen, I have removed some content from this talk page for various reasons related to Citizendium's CZ:Professionalism policy. Please take a step back and realize that we are all here for the same purpose. I have no interest in content and my purpose is strictly to assure that we have a comfortable working environment for all. If there is a content issue, please refer back to the editorial workgroup for guidance. --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:03, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

New start

Alright, I am no economist, and certainly do not care personally about "heterodox economics", but I can certainly research any topic I please and have what I hope is a pretty solid handle on neutrality. I noticed the contentious history here and decided to put on my author hat a bit.

I may be wrong, but I think I get the gist of "heterodox economics" pretty well. If I do, maybe the changes I made to this stub, still a stub, will help set the stage for a neutral article on this topic.

Stephen Ewen 03:23, 15 May 2007 (CDT)

Is there really a group which is trying to organise both "Marxian and Austrian economics", et al., under one umbrella?—Nat Krause 06:47, 15 May 2007 (CDT)
Evidently, Nat, see here. I shook my head at it too. Stephen Ewen 12:22, 15 May 2007 (CDT)