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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Economic Theories by Erasmus University Rotterdam

335 ratings

About the Course

Wondering why economists have not predicted serious financial crises? Shocked by economic assumptions of human behavior as self-centered and focusing only on what can be measured? Asking yourself if there are no sensible economic alternatives to free markets? Then you are at the right place to learn economics! This is the first online course that teaches economics from a pluralist perspective. Economic pluralism means that a plurality of theoretical and methodological viewpoints is regarded as valuable in itself and is simply the best way in which economics can make progress in understanding the world. This MOOC will illustrate economic pluralism not only in substance but also in form. You will see not only me, a Professor of Economics, but also a pop-up Prof of our business school, who illustrates the actor perspective of firms, government and civil society. And you will meet an online student, based in Greece, who will help you through the tutorial videos in which I will explain key concepts, tools and techniques. I will not limit myself to the dominant theory, as almost every other course does. Instead, I will introduce you to four very different economic theories for the whole set of standard topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. The theories are presented every time from broad and more interdisciplinary to narrow and more mathematical. The four theories that I like to introduce you to are Social Economics, Institutional Economics, Post Keynesian economics and, at the very end of each topic, Neoclassical Economics, for the special case of ideally functioning markets. But not everything is different in this course. Like every economics course, it includes numbers, diagrams, tables, equations, and some calculations. Why would you go through the effort of learning the basics of four theories instead of one? Because it will help you to see why many economists cannot predict crises, whereas others can see signals but are often not being listened to because they do not belong to the dominant school of thought. It will also enable you to see that it is just one theory claiming economic agents to be self-centered and focusing on the measurable only. Other economic theories go well beyond these limitations. And, finally, the pluralist approach will provide you with policy alternatives to neoliberalist policies promoting free markets. The objective of this course is twofold. First, to enable you to understand different economic viewpoints, linked to important traditions in economic thought, and basic economic concepts belonging to these theoretical perspectives. Second, to enable you to do some basic economic calculations that are important in economic life, such as calculating an inflation rate, and in economic policies, such as estimating the rough gains from trade for both trading partners, and in economic arguments, such as in calculating utility maximization with given prices and budgets. Please note that if you do all course elements, total course load is likely to be 4 ECT (approx. 134 hours). I hope you will enjoy the course!...

Top reviews


Oct 17, 2021

This was a fantastic course explaining the 4 major different economic theories. The professors and assistant were great in explaining the information in this course and providing excellent examples.


Jan 24, 2018

Excellent course on Theories on economics which has given un the insight of economics via various theory. Really useful to understand many financial aspects / issues on different prospective

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1 - 25 of 79 Reviews for Introduction to Economic Theories

By alberto a

Jan 8, 2018

I watched the first couple of lectures and it seems messy and unorganised. Worst part is the absence of references whatsoever. Critiques to what they called neoclassical theory, which I suppose is the mainstream one, are based mainly on straw man.

For example the lesson on households talks mainly about gender stereotypes, which of course are interesting, but then it really makes me wonder what the professor wanted to discuss. Second, and worst of all, with a completely cooked up example the professor claims neoclassical economics posits gender stereotypes are good for the economy, whereas with some other theory this is not true anymore. This is ludicrous at best. This is really not what economics is about. Look up for a course on history of economic thought instead. There are plenty available online, or better, get a book.

By James T

Sep 27, 2020

Lessons are simple enough to follow but may require some extra reading to fully understand some concepts, but overall it's a good introduction to economics.


Aug 31, 2018

Excellent module... Lots of insights... Without much economics background,this course has enlightened me for further research in various topics ..very good facilitators..

By Shiang Y C

Feb 17, 2022

The pop-up quizes always showed CORRECT even when my answers were wrong. There were too much gender-inspried talks in the course for my preference.

By Sophia O

Feb 28, 2021

It was a very promising concept for a course, comparing multiple economic theories and challenging traditionally accepted neoclassical thinking. However it was very difficult to complete without additionally renting the textbook. The videos spent too long on very easy and basic concepts, writing out simple arithmetic, and then breezed over the more complex concepts and definitions, which then were the subject of the graded quizzes. The essays were an interesting activity, but the word count was quite short compared to what the prompts asked and it was difficult to fully expand on the theories and apply them to real-world situations. Also definitely needs some updating-- the tutorial videos with the student Skyping in had very choppy audio and video quality.

If I had come to this course with a better foundational knowledge of post-Keynesian and neoclassical economic theories, it might have been easier to follow along. The course instructors clearly intended this to be introductory level, and it did succeed at that in some ways, but I think it might have been better off to formulate this as an additional course to take after taking basic Econ 101.

By Christopher R R

Aug 29, 2020

This course is painfully dull. The lectures are all scripted and and not at all engaging. The random quiz questions pop ups are often unclear. Very disappointed.


Jan 25, 2018

Excellent course on Theories on economics which has given un the insight of economics via various theory. Really useful to understand many financial aspects / issues on different prospective

By Amit V

May 7, 2018

Wonderfully compiled course. I had no interest in economics prior to this, and now I am quite happy I did this.

By Alejo A

Apr 19, 2020

This course offers an introduction to economics from four different perspectives (social , institutional, Post-Keynesian and Neo-Classic economics). It offers a pluralist perspective, this means, "pluralist" in the sense that looks at some issues from different angles (which makes it very interesting).

The courses are very interesting and with a light touch of humour. With a more dedicated effort on small details (such as some small typos and errors in tests, and improvement of the pedagogy in somme aspects) this could make an even better course!

By William A G

Apr 14, 2020

Far too many errors like neoclassical economics only deals with normal goods. A really dumb error or prejudice.

By Sahibzada A

Jan 13, 2019

The course is designed in a good way to learn the topics covered with the convenience of downloading the videos and watching it again and again until you grasp the essence. The Tutorials were also helpful as well as the Pop-up Professor with good insights. The self paced learning environment was supportive in completing the course without worrying too much about the deadlines.

By Hugo E V

Aug 3, 2020

I love this course! It succeeded my expectations. I am currently finishing my Masters in Finance Dissertation, and I wanted to learn the basics of the Economic Theories. This course made me reach that goal, and it enhanced my understanding on where is world economy heading. Thank you very much Professors Irene Van Staveren, Rod Van Tulder and Maria Dafnomili.

By Amanda G

Jun 7, 2020

Easy to achieve a passing grade on assignments, however you will be required to do your own research.


Jun 20, 2021

I truly enjoyed this course of study. This is my 22nd Coursera MOOC, and I can clearly and wholeheartedly state that it was the finest. Professor Van Staveren and her staff: Rob & Maria have done a superb job in establishing Social, Institutional, Post Keynesian and Neoclassical approaches to economic analysis, and re-enforcing them with very well presented presentations, a great deal of humor, well drawn diagrams. Professor Van Staveren exudes both knowledge and sincerity in her work. I learned a great deal about economic analysis. I really would like to see Professor Van Staveren update this MOOC to include some analysis regarding the 2021 Global Pandemic's impact on the global economy. I would suggest the possibility of splitting the course into two parts, the amount of detail is significant. Additionally, I was wondering if the course text, which I did not purchase, I relied entirely on my notes, could be made available on line or in paperback. If so, I would like to purchase a copy. lastly, I would love to take another course taught by Professor Van Staveren, if there is one available. Excellent job, and sincere thanks for all the knowledge imparted to me. Continued good things to you three!!

By Shantanu A H

Aug 2, 2019

This course has been highly helpful in understanding how theories have policy implications and the need for triangulation to solve the societal problems. Economic theories have been explained very well and will be very helpful for people who aim to understand economic theories and ways to take forward the theories.

By Alexey K

Aug 16, 2017

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the economy from a pluralist perspective, changes your vision of modern macroeconomics and all business-models in general, gives you a large number of answers to the common question "why?". Strongly recommended.

By David P

Oct 18, 2021

This was a fantastic course explaining the 4 major different economic theories. The professors and assistant were great in explaining the information in this course and providing excellent examples.

By Bohaienko M

May 19, 2022

Great course to understand economics basics from 4 different point of view: social. institutional, post keynesian, neoclassical. I am sure you will enjoy process of education

By Vinayak R S

Dec 31, 2018

A very simple way of teaching here, with all relevant examples, clarity of communication and diagrams, graphs, made this easy to understand conceptually.

By ravi d

Nov 30, 2018

this course provide step by step guide to the economics i loved it

By Adam M

Aug 9, 2022

Very good in terms of explanation, however, dishonest. The lectures are not pluralist, but rather anti-neoclassical. This would not be wrong if they did not specifically construct examples in such a way, as to make neoclassical economics look bad.

By Mark M

Mar 22, 2022

I am an economics educator and the pluralistic approach was both refressing and useful. It broadened my view of how economics can be applied to analyse major real world problems and achieve a consensus on dealing with them.

A lot of theory was glossed over very quickly. Perhaps too quickly for beginners requiring more background. While there were some references to a textbook, one wasn't provided with the course. I found the following of equations used analyse welfare economics difficult.

The difference with simplistic neoclassical economics as often taught at both school and university level jumped out at me. A more holistic approach would help students participate more fully in dealing with their increasingly complex life situations.

By Vikram K

Feb 7, 2022

The course was very helpful to gain insights into the the world of micro and macro economics, and has changed my perspective to understand my daily workings in terms of the economic concepts learned. The faculty was very wonderful and lively, and has made genuine efforts to make us understand complex economic principles in a very simple way with the help of practical examples.

By Aarti W

Feb 4, 2018

It was a very enriching and wonderful learning experience for me... Many concepts of economics were clarified in clear and lucid manner.This was my first online course and I really enjoyed listening to the lectures and tutorial videos were great too.

Thank Ypu for the enlightenment.

By Virginia N

Mar 26, 2018

Extremely good! I have been looking for a different career path because I was feeling that my interests and skills were not been contemplated in my original field, natural science. I dare now to say that I found my way. Irene is an amazing instructor and an inspiring figure!