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Theory and Education Program

Mission: To advance the theory, teaching, and application of an economic understanding which will serve the essential goals of humanity – goals that must include the fostering of equitable societies in sustainable ecological surroundings.

We start from the assumption that the most valid goals of economic activity are to improve human wellbeing by enhancing the viability and health of humanity's social and physical environments. We believe that economic theory as presently taught by most economists, and the policies that proceed from it, are not sufficiently oriented to those goals. Accordingly, GDAE Theory and Education researchers are working:

  • to contribute to the development of an economic theory that is appropriate to the needs and realities of human societies in the twenty-first century;
  • to assist other new thinkers who are working toward the same end; and
  • to shorten the time-lag between the emergence of valuable new understandings and their application to economic teaching, policy-making and activity.

Educational Materials
Textbooks | Teaching Modules | Social Science Library | Instructor Support

Environmental & Natural Resources Economics TextbookWe seek to improve economics education by providing a variety of classroom materials to help deepen and broaden the ways in which economics and related disciplines are taught at the undergraduate college level. These include major textbooks on the principles of economics and environmental economics. Free, downloadable teaching modules are available as stand-alone supplements. Scholars in developing countries can take advantage of the Social Science Library. We also provide instructor support through text supplements, working papers, and a book on on teaching critical thinking in high school economics.

Tim Thornton discusses GDAE's curricular materials

Advancing Economic Theory
Economic Theory Books and Articles | Conferences | Multimedia

Dr. Brian RoachGDAE seeks to develop approaches to economic theory that give appropriate weight to ecological, cultural, social, and institutional factors. We call economics that takes account of humanity's social and physical environments "contextual economics." For more information, see an overview of GDAE's work on economic theory.

The professional staff of GDAE's Theory and Education Program include Jonathan Harris (Program Director), Neva Goodwin, Julie A. Nelson, and Brian Roach.

Theory & Education Program Newsletters:
May 2017: Updated Publications and Teaching Materials from GDAE
November 2016: New Materials and Updates on Ecological and Keynesian Economics
July 2016: Climate, Growth, and Public Economy: New Publications and Presentations
March 2016: Updated Publications and Teaching Materials from GDAE
November 2015: New Teaching Materials and Research from GDAE
March 2015: Updated Climate Change and Micro and the Environment teaching modules
February 2015: GDAE updates teaching materials for economics textbooks
December 2014: Nouveaux Articles en Français du GDAE
December 2014: Consider GDAE's economics textbooks for your spring courses
October 2014: GDAE Evaluates Economic Thinking & Teaching
November 2013: New Macro & Microeconomics textbooks for Spring 2014
October 2013: GDAE works to build a New Economy
July 2013: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics textbook & teaching materials
April 2013: New GDAE Teaching & Theory Publications
February 2013: New Working Papers on Economic Theory, Environment, and Morality
December 2012: New Teaching & Theory PublicationsScreen Shot of T&E Newsletter
May 2012: Diaporama Powerpoint: L’Economie du Changement Climatique Mondial
April 2012: Resources for Economics Instructors and Students
November 2011: New Teaching Materials and Resources
August 2011: Resources for Economics Instructors and Students

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Global Development And Environment Institute
Tufts University
44 Teele Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144 USA
Tel: 617-627-3530 | Email:

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