Seminario 24/03 – Lourdes Molera y María Semitiel (U. Murcia): The contribution of university economics teaching to sustainability


  • Ponente: Lourdes Molera y María Semitiel (Universidad de Murcia)
  • Fecha: 29/Feb/2024 - 12:15 horas
  • Lugar: Seminario de Métodos Cuantitativos. Universidad de Murcia

We study how university economics teaching addresses sustainability. The priority of the topic has been evidenced in publications calling for a critical analysis of university programmes (Bowles, Carlin, 2020; Ansari, Landin, 2023; Prillaman, 2023). We analyse how sustainability is addressed in introductory economics courses for the degrees in Economics, Business Administration, and Law at public universities in Spain. The Law degree has been included because most politicians in Spain, since the beginning of democracy, have taken this degree, which is also the case for the CEOs of the main Spanish companies. All syllabuses for the 2021–22 academic year, and the first and last editions of the most used textbooks have been analysed by applying Text Mining and Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Despite the evidence of the anthropic origin of increasing environmental degradation, the existence of international commitments to adapt higher education to sustainability, and the key role the economy plays in achieving a sustainable transition, our results indicate that sustainability is not important to economics teaching. We also reflect on how economics teaching can contribute to sustainable development. This study is of general interest, due to the standardization of the analysed courses and the wide-ranging international distribution of the textbooks reviewed.