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Report of the Commission on Graduate Education in Economics
Comisión de Estudios de Posgrado en Economía [pdf] [html]

[Key words: graduate education in economics, Commission on Graduate Education in Economics, admission to graduate school, the core curriculum, fields courses; JEL: A23, A20]

This article shows the report presented by the Commission on Graduate Education in Economics in 1991 to the American Economic Association, it focuses on the extent to which graduate education in economic may have become too isolated from real economic problems. The report analyzes the first year core program and then fields, and it questions about the excessive emphasis given to mathematical technique versus economic substance. Thereafter the paper describes some perceived deficiencies of coursework as a whole: a lack of creativity on the part of students, and a lack of communication skills. Next, it examines the long process of selecting a dissertation, and shows advantages and disadvantages of mix of graduate schools. Finally, concludes with recommendations to solve the problems described.

Teaching the Principles of Economics: A Proposal for a Multi-paradigmatic Approach
Janet T. Knoedler y Daniel A. Underwood [pdf] [html]

[Key words: teaching of Economics, principles of economics, general education, multi-paradigmatic approach; JEL: A22, A23, B52]

Professors Knoedler and Underwood discuss the concern over the decline in the number of economic majors as well as overall the enrolments in economics. For many “mainstream" economic educators this problem obey to the fact that academic economics tend to grant lower grades on average to students, or to the relaxation that business programs have in their entry requirements. The authors attribute the problem to the abstraction and the exclusion that teaching Principles of Economics has. They propose a restatement of this course using a multi-paradigmatic approach that takes into account the ideas of economic thinkers outside the mainstream. Thus, students will overcome their dissatisfaction and they will have a more realistic view of the economy, which will help them to develop and exercise their critical thinking skills.

The Dichotomy Microeconomics-macroeconomics is not Pertinent
Jorge Iván González [pdf] [html]

[Key words: dichotomy micro-macro, microfoundation, Walras, Edgeworth, Keynes; JEL: A29, B21, B22]

Professor González criticizes the separation of the microeconomic and the macroeconomics, he considers this inadequate not only from the theoretical point of view, but also from a pedagogical perspective. The first part of the article shows how economic theory has been built without differentiating micro from macro. For he the great authors do not separate them. The next part of the article shows the intrinsic fragilities of micro and it questions the pertinence of the microfoundation of macro; if micro is weak, then it cannot support the macro. The article ends by mentioning some important areas in contemporary economic discussion that could be studied without making such distinction.

Higher Education in Colombia and the Political Transaction Costs Theory
Omar D. Peña N. [pdf] [html]

[Key words: political transaction costs, public policies, higher education, organizational behaviour, interorganizational cooperation; JEL: I28, D63, D78, L14]

This essay argues how the structure of higher education in Colombia is a reflection of a dependent organizational political contract with tenuous advances on independence. Therefore, its implementation requires higher cost in terms of political transaction compared with a contract of interdependent nature. This leads to an unequal distribution of quality and an unequal coverage, because it will favour mature institutions of higher education located in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and Bucaramanga, over emergent institutions. Professor Peña justify normatively a new contract, and propose a policy with emphasis in connectivity, its formulation and implementation would reduce the costs of political transaction and the inequity without too much sacrifice in the efficiency.

Gerardo Molina and the Provident State
Gonzalo Cataño [pdf] [html]

[Key words: Gerardo Molina, provident State; JEL: B29, A10, H19, H89]

In this essay, Gonzalo Cataño examines the ideas on the State defended by the notable thinker and Colombian socialist leader: Gerardo Molina. The article presents a brief biography, followed by a study of his ideas concerning the functions of the State. Although a critical tone predominates all way through the article, it must be remembered that the limitations of an intelligent analyst of the public subjects are always more instructive than the correct considerations of a trivial expositor of the policy. The paper defines Provident State - also known as Welfare State or Supportive State- as a State that guarantees minimum standards of income, health, food, housing, education and labor, as political rights, not charity.

Historical Previous of Colombian Foreign Debt. From The Pax Britannica to Pax American
Mauricio Avella Gómez [pdf] [html]

[Key Words: foreign debt, capital flows, foreign investment, Pax Britannica, Pax Americana; JEL: E22, F21, F34, N20]

This second paper from Mauricio Avella describes the complete cycle of capital exports originating in the United States in the 1920's: the conversion of United States into a creditor nation; the role of New York as the dominant financial center; and the distribution of United States investments, particularly in South America. Moreover, it examines the availability of these exports to Colombia, and the consequences from collapsing of external credit granted by the United States. Finally, it reviews the balance of the main international creditors when the export cycle of American capital closed in the 1920's.


Revista de Economía Institucional
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Cra. 1 No. 12-68 Casa de las Mandolinas
Bogotá, Colombia
(571) 2826066 ext. 1307

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