The economic reformation gains support

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I referred to the need for a reformation in economics last week. Today the idea reached the Guardian, in which I am a co-signatory to the following letter,

I should add that I do not think this the final word on the subject.

In the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which challenged a single dominant belief system, we agree it is time for the reformation of another all-embracing and powerful set of beliefs: that of mainstream economics (Larry Elliott: Economics needs a Reformation of its own, 18 December). Neoclassical theories currently dominate the university teaching of economics, as well as public debate, policy and decision making. Yet we believe they have assumed this level of influence not as the result of open debate, challenge and the scientific method, but as a belief system whose founding principles now pass unquestioned. Its proponents claim special authority to pronounce on all matters and its teaching has taken on the characteristics of indoctrination: students being asked to memorise and repeat rather than to criticise and evaluate.

The world faces poverty, inequality, ecological crises and financial instability that mainstream economics, apparently incapable of self-correction, seems powerless to understand, let alone help address. We support the call made last week in the publication of “33 theses for an economics reformation” for radically greater pluralism, and believe this necessary if we are to reverse these problems. It must begin with reform of the way economics research is funded in universities, which under the present system perpetuates the monopoly of a single narrow perspective. Ending the unhealthy intellectual monopoly within economics is not just about making the discipline more effective and democratic, it is essential to raise our collective chances of surviving and thriving.

Victoria Chick Emeritus professor of Economics, University College London, Professor Stephany Griffith-Jones Financial markets director, Columbia University, Frances Stewart Professor emeritus, University of Oxford, Jayati GhoshProfessor of economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, Steve Keen Professor of economics, author Debunking Economics,Andrew Simms New Weather Institute, research associate, University of Sussex, Prof Danny DorlingOxford University, Dr Ha-Joon Chang Reader in economics, University of Cambridge, Sir David KingEmeritus professor, University of Cambridge, Ian Gough Visiting professor, London School of Economics, Kate E Pickett Professor of epidemiology, University of York, Tim Jackson Professor of sustainable development, University of Surrey, Kate RaworthEnvironmental Change Institute, Oxford University, Richard Wilkinson Emeritus professor of social epidemiology, University of Nottingham, Professor Adam David Morton Department of political economy, University of Sydney, Peter NewellProfessor of international relations, University of Sussex, Mario SeccarecciaProfessor of economics, University of Ottawa, Mehmet Ugur Professor of economics and institutions, University of Greenwich, Richard Murphy Professor of international political economy, City, University of London, Alan Cibils Professor of political economy, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina,Professor Rebecca Malby London South Bank University, Mike Danson Professor of enterprise policy, Heriot-Watt University, Prof Tim Lang City, University of London,Prof Christine Cooper University of Strathclyde, Bill McGuire Professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards, University College London, Cyrus BinaDistinguished research professor of economics, University of Minnesota, Marc Lavoie Senior research chair, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, Emeritus professor, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Louis Philippe Rochon Full professor, economics, Laurentian University, Professor Alfredo Saad FilhoDepartment of Development Studies, Soas, University of London, Professor Lyla Mehta Institute of Development Studies, UK, Pritam Singh Professor of economics, Oxford Brookes Business School, John Weeks Professor emeritus of economics, Soas, University of London, Professor Rhys Jenkins School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Professor Aled Jones Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Howard Stein Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Michael Lipton Emeritus professor, economics, Sussex University, Professor Emeritus Geoffrey C Harcourt Adelaide, Emeritus reader in the history of economic theory, Cambridge, Peter Taylor-Gooby Professor of social policy, University of Kent, Tony Greenham Director of economics, Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Victor Anderson Visiting professor, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Philip Daniel Honorary professor, University of Dundee, Judith Heyer Emeritus fellow, economics, Somerville College, Oxford, Dr Suzanne J Konzelmann Reader in management, Birkbeck, University of London; Co-executive editor, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Dr Andrew DenisDepartment of Economics, City, University of London, Dr Steven Hail School of Economics, University of Adelaide, Dr Daniela Senkl University of Strathclyde Business School, Dr Kalim Siddiqui The Business School, University of Huddersfield,Dr Charlie Dannreuther School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, Dr Andreas Antoniades Senior lecturer in global political economy, University of Sussex, Dr David Ockwell University of Sussex, Dr Josh Ryan-CollinsInstitute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London, Dr Michael Joffe Imperial College London, Dr Mary M Cleveland School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Dr Emanuele Lobina Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich, Dr Eugenia Correa Mexico National University, Stewart Lansley Fellow, City, University of London, Gareth Dale Brunel University, Lynsey Hanley Lancaster University, Neal Lawson Chair of Compass, Ann Pettifor Director, Prime Economics, Anna Coote Principal fellow, New Economics Foundation, Dr Mark S Freeland (retired) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, US Department of Health & Human Services, Jennifer Castañeda-Navarrete Institute of Development Studies, UK, Tim Crabtree Senior lecturer in economics, Schumacher College, Will Straw (Personal capacity)