Campaigns and tools

Campaign: Economics Textbooks Review

Our team is currently working on an audit report of the content of the most used principles of economics, microeconomics and macroeconomics tetxbooks across the world vis-a-vis issues related to the planetary emergency

A very short update -

While we are still reviewing the textbooks and are some more work away before we put out a call for action, we hope that this research will help us outline why there is such a disconnect between the way economics is taught and the realities of how it should be utilized in response to the climate crisis. Or at least who are the biggest contributors in this disconnect? Part of the reason we are engaging in this research is to equip students and instructors with a clear understanding of where economics education falls short of equipping students with the proper knowledge of how to respond to this crisis, so that there can be a fundamental shift in the way our engagement with textbooks takes place within the classroom.

Our team is currently doing the spade work and are trying to build an open source methodology that empowers the students to carry our similar audits for the books not covered by us. This research will create the base for our next campaigns.

While we are at it, we thought we will just put some excerpts from the textbooks we are reading, to give you a flavor of how it is going -

"Because people have been conditioned to think of pollution as bad, many cringe when they hear the phrase “socially optimal level of pollution.” How can any positive level of pollution be socially optimal? But to speak of a socially optimal level of pollution is not the same as saying that pollution is good. It is merely to recognize that society has an interest in cleaning up the environment, but only up to a certain point. The underlying idea is no different from the idea of an optimal level of dirt in an apartment. After all, even if you spent the whole day, every day, vacuuming your apartment, there would be some dirt left in it. And because you have better things to do than vacuum all day, you probably tolerate substantially more than the minimal amount of dirt. A dirty apartment is not good, nor is pollution in the air you breathe. But in both cases, the cleanup effort should be expanded only until the marginal benefit equals the marginal cost."
"Climate change, with its link to global warming, is perhaps the most important issue involving negative externalities in the world today."
"Our ultimate goal is to produce economic naturalists—people who see each human action as the result of an implicit or explicit cost-benefit calculation."

More details coming up in the next quarter.