[OPE-L:6247] What do you teach in your micro and IO classes?

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 08:23:55 -0500 (est)

What do you teach in your microeconomics and industrial organization

I.e. do you teach marginalist price theory along with a critique? If so,
on what is your critique based? Is it, for example, an explicitly Marxist


do you teach micro and io from a "heterodox" perspective? If so, do you
also critique the heterodox (e.g. Post-Keynesian) perspectives that you
are presenting?


do you teach these subjects using Marxist analysis and literature? If so,
what is the literature that you use? Is the subject of Marx's and
Marxists conceptions of value integrated into the presentation in the
classroom? If so, how?

Of course, we could ask the same questions about some other subjects. E.g.
how do you teach labor economics? How do you teach public finance? How do
you teach urban economics?

In asking these questions, I am reminded of a conversation that I had with
Anu Shaikh a couple of years ago. He noted that in the classroom, Marxist
economists often revert to teaching mainstream theory with a radical
critique rather than attempting to systematically develop and explain a
Marxist conception. I think that is indeed what frequently happens and I'd
like to see a discussion about why that happens.

Is it only the lack of suitable literature that can be distributed to
students? Or is the problem more fundamental -- i.e. a lack of a
well-developed Marxist conceptualization of these subjects?

On another list I recall someone (perhaps former OPE-Ler, Jim Devine)
saying that Marxist political economy was all about macroeconomics. Is
that the case? If not, then how and where are other subjects developed?

Let me also note, in closing, that if you were going to ask workers (and
students) what questions they have on economics, wouldn't a lot of their
questions concern topics that aren't macroeconomic? Wouldn't they also
frequently concern questions that aren't systematically explained in
_Capital_? Doesn't that suggest that there are both pedagogical and
political reasons for further developing Marxist analysis in these

(the above while not directly responding to Jurriaan's post on "research
objectives", is I believe related to some of the issues we were discussing
in that thread).

In solidarity, Jerry