Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

In what direction is economics heading?

de Muijnck Sam, Radboud University Nijmegen

In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis the status of economics has come under attack. A central critique is that economics is dogmatic in its adherence to its orthodox insights. The literature on current developments in economics, however, argues that mainstream economics has moved beyond the previous orthodoxy. To show empirically which view is correct, a computational text analysis of PhD dissertations is performed. The text analysis shows that a large majority of the dissertations explicitly engage with orthodox economics, while about a quarter does so with nonorthodox mainstream economics. The findings thus support the view that orthodox economics is still dominant, although it coexists with some nonorthodox mainstream approaches. There is very little change over time in the ratios of dissertations which mention any of the approaches. This runs counter to the idea that the dominance of the current orthodoxy is fading.

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Keywords: Mainstream economics, Pluralism, Quantitative history of economic thought

Paper file