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哈佛学生致曼昆的公开信  

2011-11-09 22:45:38|  分类: 评论家 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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哈佛学生致曼昆的公开信(全文)

Wednesday November 2, 2011

Dear Professor Mankiw—

Today, we are walking out of your class, Economics 10, in order to express our discontent with the bias inherent in this introductory economics course. We are deeply concerned about the way that this bias affects students, the University, and our greater society.

As Harvard undergraduates, we enrolled in Economics 10 hoping to gain a broad and introductory foundation of economic theory that would assist us in our various intellectual pursuits and diverse disciplines, which range from Economics, to Government, to Environmental Sciences and Public Policy, and beyond. Instead, we found a course that espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics that we believe perpetuates problematic and inefficient systems of economic inequality in our society today.

A legitimate academic study of economics must include a critical discussion of both the benefits and flaws of different economic simplifying models. As your class does not include primary sources and rarely features articles from academic journals, we have very little access to alternative approaches to economics. There is no justification for presenting Adam Smith’s economic theories as more fundamental or basic than, for example, Keynesian theory.

Care in presenting an unbiased perspective on economics is particularly important for an introductory course of 700 students that nominally provides a sound foundation for further study in economics. Many Harvard students do not have the ability to opt out of Economics 10. This class is required for Economics and Environmental Science and Public Policy concentrators, while Social Studies concentrators must take an introductory economics course—and the only other eligible class, Professor Steven Margolin’s class Critical Perspectives on Economics, is only offered every other year (and not this year).  Many other students simply desire an analytic understanding of economics as part of a quality liberal arts education. Furthermore, Economics 10 makes it difficult for subsequent economics courses to teach effectively as it offers only one heavily skewed perspective rather than a solid grounding on which other courses can expand. Students should not be expected to avoid this class—or the whole discipline of economics—as a method of expressing discontent.

Harvard graduates play major roles in the financial institutions and in shaping public policy around the world. If Harvard fails to equip its students with a broad and critical understanding of economics, their actions are likely to harm the global financial system. The last five years of economic turmoil have been proof enough of this.

We are walking out today to join a Boston-wide march protesting the corporatization of higher education as part of the global Occupy movement. Since the biased nature of Economics 10 contributes to and symbolizes the increasing economic inequality in America, we are walking out of your class today both to protest your inadequate discussion of basic economic theory and to lend our support to a movement that is changing American discourse on economic injustice. Professor Mankiw, we ask that you take our concerns and our walk-out seriously.

Sincerely,

Concerned students of Economics 10

译文:

       今天,我们离开经济学十讲(Economics 10,曼昆)的课堂,为了表达我们对于这门导引性的经济学课程中之根深蒂固的偏见的不满。我们深切地担忧这些偏见将影响到我们的同学,我们的大学,以及我们所身处的整个社会。

       作为哈佛的本科生,选修这门课程,是希望能获得有关经济学理论的基础知识,帮助我们进一步在经济学、政治学、环境科学、公共政策等诸多学科和知识领域中作 出深入思考。然而,我们发现这门课程,对于我们认为已经问题重重且对不平等束手无策的经济,持一种特殊而且有限的看法。

       真正合理的经济学研究,必须同时包含对各种经济学简化模型之优点与缺点的批判性探讨。由于在您的课程中不涉及第一手资料,学术期刊中的关键文献也并不充 分,因此我们几乎无法接触其他可供选择的路径来研究经济学。认为亚当·斯密的经济学原理就比其他任何理论,例如凯恩斯的理论更重要、更基本,这是毫无道理 的。

       对一门声称要为将来进一步研究经济学打下基础的课程来说,采取一种无偏见的观察经济学的视角,对于这个课堂上的700名同学来说尤为重要。许多哈佛学生没 有能力选择经济学十讲之外的课程,因为此课程除对于经济学、环境科学以及公共政策学学生来说是必修的。当社会学专业必须选择一门经济学导论课程时,唯一的 另一门可供选择的课程——Steven Margolin教授的经济学批判却每隔一年才开设一次(今年就没开课)。许多其他专业的学生只是希望在高质量的通识教育中获得对经济学的简单理解。更为 严重的是,经济学导论使得后续的经济学课程难以有效地展开,因为它仅仅提供了严重偏激的观点,而不是为其他课程的拓宽提供坚实的基础。不可能寄希望于学生 们以躲开这门课,或者阻止整个经济学学科来表达他们的不满。

       哈佛毕业生在全球金融机构和公共政策领域都扮演着极为重要的角色。如果哈佛不能使学生们具备关于经济学之更广博与更具批判性的思考,他们的行为将会危及全球金融体系。近五年来的经济动乱已经充分证明了这一点。

       今天,我们将加入波士顿的游行队伍,抗议高等教育的公司化,声援全球的“占领运动”。由于经济学十讲中不公正的本质不仅不仅是美国经济不平等的象征,甚至 应当为这一严重社会后果负责。我们今天走出课堂,不仅是反对您对于有偏见的经济学理论的讨论不够充分,而且我们还将投身整个运动,去改变美国关于经济学的 所有不公正话语。曼昆教授,我们希望您会认真对待我们的想法和今天的罢课行为。

 

译/佚名

北大国家发展研究院陈平推荐哈佛罢课学生致曼昆的抗议书

  2011年11月2日,哈佛校刊《哈佛政治评论》报道了当天哈佛大学本科生退出著名哈佛经济学家曼昆主讲的《经济学原理》课,参加抗议华尔街的示威运动的消息;并全文刊登了学生致曼昆的公开信。

   陈平教授建议中国经济学界的教师和学生们读一读这封公开信,因为曼昆的《经济学原理》教科书在中国经济院校中的影响比美国还大。中国过去30年全盘引进 美国主流经济学的教科书,固然扩大了中国经济学的传统眼界,但也误导了一代经济学人,以为新古典经济学代表唯一的经济学真理,对中国的教育和决策的弯路留 下深刻影响。中国的经济发展走在世界前列,但是中国的经济学教育和经济研究却落后于世界前列。当中国的干部和企业家突破西方的老路时,中国的教师和学生却 成为西方老路的信仰者,这在外国经济学人看来是极大的困惑。希望中国关心经济学未来的有识之士,要摆脱从书斋中做学问的习惯,从当代社会对经济学的挑战 中,找到自己的研究方向。愿意参加经济学反思运动的朋友,可以关注《世界经济学会(World Economics Association)》的网站和刊物: http://worldeconomicsassociation.org/

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