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Module Reading List

Schools of Thought in Economics, 2021/22, Semester 2
Andrew Mearman
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Most of the readings on the module are journal articles. Readings will be released as the course progresses. We will indicate essential reading plus other reading, some of which will be labelled as foundational, others as advanced. You should do the foundational reading and consider doing the advanced once you have grasped the foundational reading.

For background reading, and as reference sources, these two books are particularly useful:

* Liliann Fischer, Joe Hasell, J. Christopher Proctor, David Uwakwe, Zach Ward Perkins, Catriona Watson, Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics, Routledge.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

* John Harvey, Contending Perspectives in Economics: A Guide to Contemporary Schools of Thought, Edward Elgar. There are two editions of this book, one from 2020 and the original edition from 2015. Either edition is fine to use. The 2015 edition is available electronically.     

Annotated reading list for part 1 of the module (Introduction)


Harvey, two chapters: introduction and economics as a scientific discipline (2015: chapters 1-2)

Skidelsky trailer video This video will help put into context the other videos in the series, and lays out some of his key arguments.

Skidelsky video 1 on what economics is about This video is an introduction to Skidelsky's other videos. He lays out what he sees as problems with economics - including its inability to predict the Global Financial Crisis. This helps him make the case that modern economics is in need of improvement. Watch this video if you want to see some of the context for arguments for broadening economics beyond what is typically covered.

Skidelsky video 4 on economics as a science In this video, Skidelsky questions whether economics can be considered a science, perhaps in the same way that physics or chemistry is. This is a long-debated question, with some people - usually those who advocate more mathematics in economics - arguing that economics is a science, while on the other hand, some - who argue that economics is contested and unclear - argue it is not. In the context of this module, the video is useful in setting the context for our discussion. Also, it relates to the discussion of paradigms (Kuhn) in lecture 2: if economics is a science, should it not change more, as facts change? From the perspective of paradigms, economics does not change despite evidence shifting because of the way it is organised. This relates to the concept of 'mainstream' economics discussed in lecture 3 and 4.


Skidelsky video 9 on the history of thought This video lays out why, in Skidelsky's view, the history of economic thought is important. It follows on from the discussion in lecture 2 of whether or not history of economics really matters. Watch this video if you are interested in that question and also to see how Skidelsky treats history differently from lecture 2, or from Lavoie, whose diagram is discussed in lecture 2.

Sent, E-M (2003) Pleas for pluralism. Post-Autistic Economics Review, issue 18. Available through This piece was discussed in class. It urges those arguing for pluralism to be more so, and not be monist in seeking to replace one dominant approach with another. It is also useful in identifying that pluralism operates at different levels, including methodological (how to approach economics) and theoretical (which concepts from economic theory to hold).

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Annotated reading list for part 2 of the module (mainstream economics)


Harvey, chapter on mainstream economics (2015: chapter 3). Note: the 2020 edition has more discusion on how neoclassical and mainstream economics connect

Skidelsky video 2 on scarcity This video explores scarcity. As discussed in lecture 2, scarcity is a major concern of a number of schools of economic thought, most notably neo-classical economics. When you started economics, you were probably told that economics is about choice under conditions of scarcity. In this video, Skidelsky challenges this focus and explores why scarcity is considered important. Watch this video when considering the nature of mainstream economics, as discussed in lecture 3.

Mankiw blog on mainstream economics and the GFC 


Arnsperger, C. and Varoufakis, Y., 2008. Neoclassical economics: three identifying features. Pluralist Economics, pp.13-25 available online at: This chapter argues that neoclassical economics has three features: instrumentalism, individualism and equilibrium. It relates well to Skidelsky’s focus on equilibrium and scarcity.

Blanchard article on how mainstream economics responded to the GFC We read this in class. Blanchard identifies that the main problem for mainstream economics before the crisis was its presumption that the economy was stable and hence its ignorance of the economy's 'dark corners'.

Colander, D., 2000. The death of neoclassical economics. Journal of the history of Economic Thought, 22(2), pp.127-143. This is an article arguing that mainstream economics is now much more complex than just neo-classical economics. He identifies a set of strands within the mainstream including behavioural, experimental and ecological economics.

Colander, D., Holt, R. and Rosser Jr, B., 2004. The changing face of mainstream economics. Review of Political Economy, 16(4), pp.485-499. This article develops Colander (2000) and draws on interviews these authors conducted with leading ‘cutting edge’ mainstream economists. Colander’s work fits well with Sent’s characterisation of a pluralist mainstream.

Dequech, D., 2007. Neoclassical, mainstream, orthodox, and heterodox economics. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 30(2), pp.279-302. This article discusses the differences between mainstream and heterodox economics and identifies a sociological and an intellectual dimension to both. This makes separating out one from the other quite difficult. Bear this article in mind when drawing comparisons between school: it may help you develop nuanced arguments.

Robert Lucas video interview on causes and responses to the GFC

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Annotated reading list for part 3 of the module (Austrian economics)

Austrian economics: lectures 5&6


Rethinking Economics (Fischer, et al) chapter by Hulsmann and Méra. This is available electronically via the Online Course Readings folder in Readings. This is an introductory piece and gives a good overview.

Harvey, chapter on Austrian economics (2015: chapter 5)

Hayek-Keynes rap This resource gives you a slightly different type of overview of Austrian economics and the overlaps and contrasts with Keynes’ work. It is actually full of concepts and is worth watching a few times to catch them all. The video illustrates how hard it is to classify Austrian economics in terms of mainstream/heterodox distinction we’ve been using in the module.

Skidelsky video on models and laws In this video Skidelsky discusses the role of models in economic thinking. This is important in terms of whether it is possible to construct ‘laws’ of economics in the same way that physics does [refer back to video 4. This video is relevant to all four schools of thought we’ve looked at and certainly to the Austrian school which historically has rejected the idea of economic laws at the system level (although not at the level of the individual) and largely rejected mathematics and statistics.

Taylor, T. Introduction to Austrian economics, available via the Mises Institute: This is an entire book, so just focus on the Introduction to begin with.

Ebeling, R. The Current Economic Crisis and the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle, The Freeman, June 2008. This is an early response to the Global Financial Crisis but again is very useful in understanding how Austrians see the business cycle. Available at


Various resources are available via the Mises Institute and via the Liberty Fund

Batemarco, R.J. 1994. ‘Austrian business cycle theory,’ in P.J. Boettke (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, VT, USA: Edward Elgar, pp. 216–23. This chapter is particularly useful for understanding how Austrian economics deals with business cycles, and therefore how it applies to the Global Financial Crisis.     

Boettke, P.J. (ed.) 1994. The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, VT, USA: Edward Elgar. This is an entire book which can be used as a reference source.

Bostaph, S. 2013. “Driving the market process: ‘alertness’ versus innovation and ‘creative destruction,’” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics16 (4), 421–58. This article is particularly useful for understanding how Austrians view the market process. Recall that the concept of creative destruction came up in Skidelsky video 4 in his discussion of equilibrium.

Caldwell, B. 1984 “Praxeology and its critics: an appraisal,” History of Political Economy16 (3), 363–79. Praxeology, the study of human action, is a key concept in Austrian economics. Use it if you want to consider how Austrian economics treats the individual, in contrast to mainstream economics in particular. Note that this article is relatively old but very useful and highly cited.

Selgin, G.A. 1988. “Praxeology and understanding: an analysis of the controversy in Austrian economics,” The Review of Austrian Economics, 2 (1), 19–58. This resource relates quite closely to the one above.

Tempelman, J.H. 2010. “Austrian business cycle theory and the global financial crisis: confessions of a mainstream economist,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics13 (1), 3–15. This article is very useful for understanding Austrian business cycle theory, its explanation for the GFC and how there is crossover between mainstream and Austrian economics.

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Annotated reading list for part 4 of the module (Post Keynesian economics)

Post Keynesian Economics: lectures 7&8


Rethinking Economics  (Fischer et al) chapter by Stockhammer   

Harveychapter on Post Keynesian economics (2015: chapter 6)

Skidelsky, video 6 on psychology This video can be used in several places in the module, for instance as a critique of mainstream economics, and as part of the justification for a different approach to psychology as advocated by both Post Keynesian and Austrian economists.


Interview with Epstein This interview focuses on the size of the financial system. Epstein is one of the leading thinkers on financialisation, i.e. the transformation of life by finance.  

Detzer, D. and Herr, H. 2013. Theories of Financial Crisis, FESSUD Working Paper Series 25, available at This paper is not written exclusively from a Post Keynesian perspective but do help understand that viewpoint. It is referred to by Hein.  

Dow, S.C., 2012. Policy in the wake of the banking crisis: taking pluralism seriously.  International Review of Applied Economics26(2), pp.161-175. This was discussed in seminar 3. It can be used to understand and criticise mainstream economics and give insight into what Post Keynesian economics is.

Hein, E., 2015. Causes and consequences of the financial crisis and the implications for a more resilient financial and economic system: Synthesis of FESSUD Work Package 3 (No. wpaper128) available at FESSUD was a major research project based in the Economics Division at Leeds which explored the links between financialisation, the economy, sustainability and financial crises. FESSUD was organised into work packages. In this paper Hein summarises all the work done within Work Package 3, on causes and consequences of the financial crisis. He cites Detzer and Herr, listed above. Use this to get an overview of Post Keynesian and some Marxian theories of crisis, and the links between them.

Hein, E., 2017. Post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid 1990s: main developments. European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention14(2), pp.131-172. This paper is useful for summing up more recent work in Post Keynesian economics, particularly in macroeconomics, which dominates the area of PKE. Available at

Lavoie M. 2006Introduction to Post-Keynesian Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, ch. 1, 2.4    

Lavoie M. 2014Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations, Edward Elgar, ch. 1, 6    

The two book chapters (above) together offer a summary of Lavoie’s take on what Post Keynesian economics is. They can be read in conjunction with his piece below on Post Keynesian economics and the financial crisis.

Lavoie, M., 2016. Understanding the global financial crisis: contributions of Post-Keynesian economics. Studies in Political Economy97(1), pp.58-75. This article is useful in understanding PKE approaches on the financial crisis but also in grasping what PKE is.

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Annotated reading list for part 5 of the module (Feminist economics) 

Feminist economics: lectures 9&10


Rethinking Economics  (Fischer et al) chapter by Himmelweit

Harveychapter on Feminist economics (2015: chapter 9)

These are nice overviews, introducing feminist economics in terms of focus/method of research (gender relations as structural to the economy) and a discussion of key features common to most feminist economics research, including feminist interventions in microeconomics (non-market relations, intra-household bargaining, social norms, theorizing care) and macroeconomics (broadening definitions of wellbeing and economic production).

[video] Folbre, Nancy. 2020. “What is work?” Institute for New Economic Thinking. 

Folbre, Nancy. 2015. “Valuing Non-Market Work.” UNDP Human Development Report Office pp. 3–14, retrieved from: . 

Nancy Folbre’s UNDP think piece suggests how we might include non-market production in the measurement of economic living standards. A short 2020 INET video on feminist critiques of definitions of work encapsulates these themes.

Pearson, Ruth, and Diane Elson. 2015. "Transcending the impact of the financial crisis in the United Kingdom: towards plan F—a feminist economic strategy." Feminist review 109 (1): 8–30. Retrieved from 

Pearson and Elson offer a framework for understanding the gender dimensions of the 2008 financial crisis in the UK (drawing on analysis from the UK Women’s Budget Group), and suggest directions for an alternate economic strategy.

[podcast + post] Naila Kabeer. 2019. “Naila Kabeer on why randomized controlled trials need to include human agency.” Retrieved from [accessed 16 Jan 2022]. [I]

Naila Kabeer discusses the shortcomings of RCTs in poor countries—an increasingly dominant method in mainstream economics and development aid; her emphasis on mixed-methods/qualitative analysis (rather than a purely quantitative approach) echoes feminist economists’ emphasis on the value of diversity in methodological approaches


Nelson, Julie. 2008. “Feminist Economics.” In Durlauf and Blume eds. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

This short overview discusses how feminist economics has evolved since the 1960s, tracing different interventions over time, and providing a more substantive accounting of the field that could supplement Himmelweit’s chapter.

Braunstein, Elissa. 2019. "Care and the macroeconomy." In Berik and Kongar eds. The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Economics, pp. 351–359. Routledge.    

This review article charts the development of feminist macroeconomics and provides a (non-technical) overview of how gender relations/care are incorporated into theoretical models of the macroeconomy.

Rubery, Jill. 2019. "Gendering the analysis of economic crises." In Berik and Kongar eds. The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Economics, pp. 360–368. Routledge.    

This reviews feminist research on how gender shapes the origins of crises and discusses the distributive consequences of crises and crisis-related policy for women and men.

Albanesi, Stefania, and Jiyeon Kim. 2021. "Effects of the COVID-19 recession on the US labor market: Occupation, family, and gender." Journal of Economic Perspectives 35 (3): 3–24. Retrieved from

This article compares women’s employment in the 2008 recession to the current COVID-induced recession in the US, discussing differences in sectoral demand shocks (given gender job segregation) as well as shocks to unpaid work—a comparison that is now relevant, and in which gendered institutions and practice in families and labor markets play a key role. Note that Albanesi and Kim are mainstream economists looking at gender (rather than feminist economists).

This list was last updated on 28/01/2022