Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction by Geoffrey Schneider

Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction. Reviewed by Lane Vanderslice Harmful Economics August 23, 2022

I have just finished reading Geoffrey Schneider’s Economic Principles and Problems: A Pluralist Introduction. This is a wonderful textbook. It is a revelation in how an introduction to economics can and should be taught.  I would urge any heterodox economist who teaches introductory economics to order an evaluation copy and see for themselves.

Three observations.

–Part II, early in the book, is a hundred-page economic history, beginning with communal societies, but emphasizing major periods of capitalism since it began.  This history is very important, giving a good idea of how economic structures and society itself evolved—material just ignored in standard principles texts.

–This history establishes the approach of looking at the major problems of the specific period, and how major economists analyzed them.  This approach continues throughout the rest of the book—what are major contemporary issues, and what do both orthodox economics and heterodox economics have to say about them. This is a very valuable approach to teaching economics, rather than constructing models which reflect current orthodox thinking, positing some more-or-less everlasting principles, as standard intro texts do.

–The book considers economics as one science.  Orthodox principles texts fail this basic test by not considering heterodox economics, or important aspects of the broader society.

The home page for this book provides more information, including ordering an examination copy and the table of contents.

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