I am not at an economics department any more. Yet, I am still interested in the profession. Maybe even more interested than a few years before. David Colander provides with The Making of an Economist, Redux a brief overview about the state of the economics curriculum and the economics student at a few of the elite US universities in the early 2000.
I am a little bit disappointed, disillusioned and reaffirmed.
Disappointed because I expected more from this book. The content is mostly fine as far as the topic allows. The presentation, however, could be improved considerably. All the endless tables should have been made into less messy and more clear graphical illustrations. Or at least been complemented with them. The data analysis is cursory, yes. But, I guess this serves a purpose. The data may suffer from several biases and the current analysis does not pretend any false precision or representativeness.
Disillusioned because US economics students may be even more ignorant than I would have thought before. The system really seems to produce basically only a conforming mass of idiot savants.
Reaffirmed because there seems to be only minor differences between the economics education in the US and Germany. In both places the history of economic thought and more broader philosophical questions are not addressed any more – at economics departments. General knowledge about economics is under-appreciated and training focuses on producing least publishable units.
I wonder: Is there any comparable research done for Germany and / or Europe?