Narrative of economic textbooks

Theme 1   The economic inequality.

Researchers and academics.

), there is no change in the narration of economic textbooks.

We indicate that income inequality in economic textbooks is represented insufficiently, although this phenomenon is becoming more and more popular in public debate. The phenomenon of income inequality has been growing and has many negative consequences on the entire economy. Therefore, teaching about them is crucial.

We claim that students might be confused about the economists’ message about economic inequality since there is an inadequate description of the topic in textbooks. According to Milanovic (2007), dismissing the significance of inequalities is widely advocated by economists. For example, as data about inequality depends on the quality of data about wealth and personal income, some experts undermine the importance of the inequality phenomenon. What is more, some prominent economists state that, in line with standard economic theory, a policymaker does not need to pay any attention to growing inequality if everybody income is increasing simultaneously.

The paper aims at showing an underrepresentation of the income inequality topic in economic textbooks. Next, it will focus on what is presented about inequality in economic textbooks. Also, we want to analyze why economists underestimate the importance of this phenomenon.

Considering the above, we perform text mining analyses of the selected introduction to economic textbooks used by the most prominent universities. Our goal is to see to what degree the phrases such as “income inequality”, “wealth inequality”, “income distribution”, “wealth distribution”, “income quintiles”, “Gini index”, and “poverty” are discussed in economic textbooks. The preliminary results indicate a significant underrepresentation of the earlier mentioned topics.

Presented by: Ewa Weychert (1, 1) and Tomasz Kopczewski

Lecture (20 min)

Downloadable files: 34_5685_What do we teach our students about income inequality?.pdf

Back to previous page