A Special Report from APEE Meetings in Las Vegas
by Mark Skousen
On April 2, 2012, I moderated a panel at the annual APEE meetings in Las Vegas. APEE (Association of Private Enterprise Education) is the gathering place of free-market academic economists, and this year a record group of 500 showed up from colleges and institutions around the world. (Go to www.apee.org for more information.)
The panel’s theme was “Squaring the Mises Circle: How to Integrate Austrian Economics into Mainstream Textbooks,” and we had a SRO crowd.
It’s amazing how economics textbooks have changed in one generation. When I was going to college, the principal textbook was Paul Samuelson’s Economics, which promoted the Keynesian themes of paradox of thrift, deficit spending, progressive taxation, and the welfare state.
In 1991, I wrote a book called “Economics on Trial” (McGraw-Hill), which surveyed the top ten textbooks in economics at the time, and most were still Keynesian.
Today Keynesian textbooks are still out there (Krugman, Baumol & Blinder), but there are a whole bunch of free-market textbooks, including ones by Roger Leroy Miller, Greg Mankiw, and the four highlighted at the APEE panel. I spent a couple of days reviewing them in preparation for the panel, and was amazed how they all included new material from the great Austrian economists, especially the ideas of Friedrich Hayek. [Read more…]