A former ECOP faculty member gives her two cents:
Economists need to be broader, more self-critical, deeply knowledgeable about economic institutions. This is why it’s dumbfounding that the University of Notre Dame created an economics department filled — by intent! — of only neoclassical economists and banned their Ph.D. economists who are policy-oriented and non-orthodox from the department.I since left — happily, to head to the New School for Social Research — but I started my career on the Notre Dame faculty attracted by its mission to address problems facing humanity and thrived where neoclassical economists interacted with historians, policy economists, Keynesians, Marxists, philosophers, and other faculty deeply committed to the same goal.
Notre Dame students, faculty, and scholars everywhere question ND’s move. Orthodoxy and intolerance in the economics profession helped plunge the world into the deepest recession since the 1930s: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — or even an economist — to recognize narrowness has a cost.
Here is a modest recommendation for this aspiring top-tier university: Put all the economists it hired for the economics department in an economics department and let ideas interact. After all that is what universities do and what economic thinking and economic regulation needs.