Future for Economics

A Future for Economics: More Encompassing, More Institutional, More Practical

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 Christopher Maule et al 

Economics is a discipline fundamentally concerned with effective coordination. In that way, its main concerns are very close to those of governance. Economics, like governance, has evolved considerably over the last half century. This book is a very modest attempt at gauging the relative importance of this tsunami and the way in which it might indicate what will be its future. This book proposes the reflections on this general theme by eight senior members of the economics profession who have all taught at some time in the
Department of Economics at Carleton University in Ottawa – a department that has always been known for its intellectual temerity and for its interest in extending the scope of economics beyond its traditional boundaries.
The Carleton sample of economists who share their views here have practiced in different sub-fields of economics, and have chosen to articulate their views and experiences in very different ways. But their collective experience reflects a broad exposure to the ways in which the discipline has evolved – both in
academic circles and in the various organizations and institutions where they have practiced their profession in Canada and abroad. Without pretending to report on all the major transformations of the various aspects of the discipline over the last 50 years, this compendium of essays provides a sample of informed views about how economics has evolved over that period, and some conjectures about what sort of changes the discipline might experience in the future.
If this eight-dimensional radar has any accuracy, a future for economics might be characterized by a more interdisciplinary work, a greater emphasis on organizational, institutional and behavioural aspects of the social order, a more practical bent and a greater willingness to return to some of the broader perspectives that used to be in good currency in the first half of the last century – while bringing to those perspectives the new insights generated by the giants of the discipline over the last 50 years.
About The Authors
Christopher Maule was a member of Carleton’s Economics Department from 1962 to 1964 and from 1970 to 1995 when he retired from full-time teaching. From 1988 to 1993, he was Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, during which time a greater emphasis was placed on economics. His research, much of it co-authored with Carleton colleagues, Keith Acheson and Al Litvak, emphasized the role of multinational corporations in the context of international trade, investment and migration, and on the political economy of the cultural industries.
Since 2000, he has written a blog dealing with a range of topics many of which have an economic dimension. His blog is found at cmaule.wordpress.com.
John Chant retired in 2002 from the Department of Economics at Simon Fraser University. He had previously taught at Carleton University from 1972 to 1979. He has written extensively on financial institutions and their regulation. Mr. Chant was a Special Adviser to the Governor of the Bank of Canada in 2001/02 and has participated in several national studies of the Canadian financial system.
Ehsan U. Choudhri joined the Department of Economics at Carleton University in 1965. He retired from the full-time teaching position at Carleton University in 2012 and is currently a Distinguished Research Professor. He has undertaken research on a wide range of topics in international trade and macroeconomics. His has published in many journals, including Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Political Economy and Quarterly Journal of Economics. He has held visiting positions at a number of institutions including University of California at Los Angeles, Rutgers University, Georgetown University, Bank of Canada and International Monetary Fund. He has served as chair of the Department of Economics at Carleton University and associate editor for the Journal of International Economics.
Steven Langdon was a member of Carleton’s Economics Department from 1974 to 1984. He also taught at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Then he accepted 92 | A Future for Economics a position as Associate Director for Economics and Rural Development at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC); this followed two years on leave as IDRC Regional Program Officer for Social Sciences in Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi. His further research and project implementation has focused on poverty reduction, industrial restructuring and governance. After serving as an M.P. for nine years, he worked with the World Bank and the Parliamentary Centre in 20 different African countries as well as a number in Asia and Latin America. He is now an Adjunct Professor in the Economics Department at Carleton and is completing a textbook on African economic development for a UK publisher.
Harvey Lithwick began his teaching career a Carleton University in 1963, and served as Chairman of Carleton’s Economics Department (1974-77). He was recruited by the Canadian government in 1969 to undertake a study of urban Canada and appointed Assistant Secretary to create the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs. He was a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1969-70 and 1977-78. In 1992, he moved to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel where, with Professor Yehuda Gradus, he helped set up the Negev Center for Regional Development until his retirement in 2005.
Christopher Maule was a member of Carleton’s Economics Department from 1962 to 1964 and from 1970 to 1995 when he retired from full-time teaching. From 1988 to 1993, he was Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs during which time a greater emphasis was placed on economics. His research, much of it co-authored with Carleton colleagues Keith Acheson and Al Litvak, emphasized the role of multinational corporations in the context of international trade, investment and migration, and on the political economy of the cultural industries. Since 2000, he has written a blog dealing with a range of topics many of which have an economic dimension. His blog is found at cmaule.wordpress.com.
Donald McFetridge was a member of the Department of Economics at Carleton from 1974 until his retirement in 2013. He specialized in Industrial Organization and Competition Policy. His research efforts while at Carleton benefitted immensely from collaboration with colleagues Keith Acheson, John Chant, Ed Hughes, Douglas Smith and the late Stanley Wong, and also with some excellent graduate students, including Atipol Bhanich Supapol, Lin Bian, Ron Corvari, Aming He, Ashish Lall, Derek Olmstead, Mohammed Raffiquzzaman, and Eftichios Sartzetakis. He also learned a great deal from discussions at various times with colleagues Stephen Ferris, Soo Bin Park, Tom Ross and, of course, the late John McManus.
Gilles Paquet is an economic historian and a specialist in institutional economics and governance. He has also done extensive work in the media. He taught in the Department of Economics at Carleton from 1963 to 1981. He later joined what is now the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, where he created the Centre on Governance in 1997. He has been President of the Royal Society of Canada, and he is a Member of the Order of Canada. His website is found at www. gillespaquet.org
Georg Rich taught economics at Carleton from 1967 to 1977, and served as chairman of Carleton’s economics department from 1972 to 1974. He joined the Swiss National Bank in 1977 and was appointed as its chief economist in 1985. After his retirement from the SNB in 2001, he became an honorary professor of the University of Bern, and also taught a course at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He has published widely on monetary matters, including studies on the Eurocurrency markets, Canadian monetary history and Swiss monetary policy.

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