Nick Rowe has recently criticized heterodox economic schools for not taking the time to read neoclassical textbooks and this has sparked some responses from the heterdoxy. I really do not know where Rowe got the idea to generalize heterodoxy advocates as people who haven’t read neoclassical textbooks. Most of these people that I know (personally and online) have gone to school or are in school and have a degree in or are studying economics or a related field. This is to say, there are many heterodox students and economists that have studied economics from a neoclassical perspective before. So not only have these people read neoclassical textbooks but they also have been tested over them. And as an economics tutor, I even have to help people understand neoclassical concepts that are in their textbooks.
The lesson learned here: Heterodox advocates do read neoclassical textbooks, and not just first year textbooks either.
There are ‘not so great’ criticisms of neoclassical econ or concepts that neoclassicals use made by the heterodoxy, but this doesn’t mean that they haven’t read neoclassical textbooks.
Nevertheless, this is just like any conflict, those who already believe in a position think that position won the debate. Neoclassicals think that Rowe’s “read a textbook” argument is a grand criticism towards the heterodoxy, while the heterodoxy advocates think that such a ‘criticism’ is absurd.