One of the critical issues heterodox economists around the world are facing these days is the research assessment exercise. Although it is a hard nut to crack given the hegemony of mainstream economics, we have to deal with this issue since it is the matter of survival and reproduction of heterodox economics. The Newsletter commented on the research assessment exercise several times in the past (for example, see Issue 65 and Issue 102); also AJES published a special issue on ”Evaluating Economic Research in a Contested Discipline” (2010); On the Horizon published a special issue on ”Publishing, Refereeing, Rankings, and the Future of Heterodox Economics” (2008). Now Cambridge Journal of Economics has just published an article, “The UK Research Assessment Exercise and the Narrowing of UK Economics”, written by Frederic S. Lee, Xuan Pham and Gyun Gu. For more details about this article and press release, please go to our special section in this issue of the Newsletter.
This broader issue of systemic bias against heterodox economics relates to our discussion in the last issue of HEN on the need to support Heterodox journals. In response to our call for support for Monthly Review and ‘relatively’ new heterodox journals, we received a note from Paul Davidson who indicated that this is a growing issue for many heterodox journals, as many journals (including the JPKE), have experienced declining library subscriptions. In fact, in a response to Steve Keen’s recent post “The Neoclassical Conspiracy Against Post Keynesian Economics” (from the Real-World Economics Review Blog), professor Davidson posted a related response that takes a stronger position and suggests that, “Professors and members of research institutions are therefore co-conspirators if they have not checked to see if their institutional libraries have not continued to subscribe, or do not subscribe, to the JOURNAL OF POST KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS [and, of course, all heterodox journals].’’
Despite Keen’s recent series on the “self destruction of neoclassical economics,” it’s clear from Lee, Pham, and Gu’s research that this battle is far from over, and we will be guilty of conspiring if we don’t do our part to support heterodox journals by–at the very least–encouraging library subscriptions.
Lastly, over the past few weeks there were a series of major heterodox economics conferences: the 1st World Keynes Conference (June 26-29, Izmir, Turkey); the 3rd Congress of the French Association of Political Economy (July 3-5, Bordeaux, France); the 15th Association for Heterodox Economics Conference (July 4-6, London, UK); and the 4th IIPPE Annual Conference (July 9-11, 2013, The Hague, Netherlands). It would be a nice and long trip if one could manage attending all of those conferences. Not to mention, they all seemed very successful according to reports provided by organizers/participants (see the conference reports here). We’d like to remind readers (especially, conference organizers) that the Newsletter includes a section on conference reports. Please do send us conference reports as they would improve the publicity of your association as well as inform others about most current works done by heterodox economists.
Tae-Hee Jo and Ted P. Schmidt, Editors