Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, provides insight on the history of primary commodity export dependence in Africa, and relates it to the difficulties African governments are facing finding necessary resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
A central question in development economics literature is, “Why do countries stay poor?” The key disagreements are whether the lack of economic growth stems from institutions or from geography (Nunn 2009). From an institutional perspective, hostile tariff regimes and commodity price dependencies form a barrier to a sectoral shift that would otherwise lead to economic development in developing countries (Blink and Dorton 2011) (Stiglitz 2006).[i]
This edited volume presents a collection of articles that engage with various concepts from Marx’s Capital and Marxian theory in general, from a ‘Southern’ perspective. The book engages with four specific themes: “Reception of Capital in the East; Value, Commodity, Surplus Value and Capitalism; Population and Rent in Capital; and Issues Beyond Capital”.
This book analyzes the transition of chocolate from an exotic curiosity to an Atlantic commodity. It shows how local, inter-regional, and Atlantic markets interacted with one another and with imperial political economies. It explains how these interactions, intertwined with the resilience of local artisanal production, promoted the partial democratization of chocolate consumption as well as economic growth.
The concept of financialisation has undergone a similar career as ‘globalisation’, ‘neoliberalism’ or even ‘capitalism’, in the course of which it changed from the explanandum to the explanans; the process of financialisation is taken for granted, while the concrete historical and empirical causal conditions of its realisation and perpetuation are being moved into the background.
The Great Recession 2.0 is unfolding before our very eyes. It is still in its early phase. But dynamics have been set in motion that are not easily stopped, or even slowed. If the virus effect were resolved by early summer—as some politicians wishfully believe—the economic dynamics set in motion would still continue. The US and global economies have been seriously ‘wounded’ and will not recover easily or soon. Those who believe it will be a ‘V-shape’ recovery are deluding themselves. Economists among them should know better but are among the most confused. They only need to look at historical parallels to convince themselves otherwise.
Mainstream inflation theories in economics do little to explain the recent acceleration in price increases. The associated economic policy recommendations further increase the misery of low-income groups.
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 12-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This essay will explore ecological economics as an alternative lens through which to approach forest conservation and the acceleration of climate change.
The last 15 years have seen extensive research into ecosystem service valuation (ESV), spurred by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 (Baveye, Baveye & Gowdy, 2016). Ecosystem services are defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, p.V). For example, ecosystems provide the service of sequestering carbon which helps regulate the climate. Valuation means giving ecosystems or their services a monetary price, for example researchers have estimated that the carbon sequestration services of the Mediterranean Sea is between 100 and 1500 million euros per year. The idea of ESV was a response to the overuse of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, allegedly due to their undervaluation and exclusion from the monetary economy. ESV can be used (1) for policy decision-making, for example allocating funding to a reforestation project (2) for setting payments to people who increase ecosystem services, for example a farmer increasing the organic carbon content of their soil, and (3) for determining fees for people who degrade ecosystem services, for example a company that causes deforestation.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has substantially accelerated the digitalization of the economy. Yet, this unprecedented growth of digital technology brought novel challenges to the labour market. Rise in income inequalities and precarious working conditions or polarization of jobs. In this essay, we try to assess what tools to use to counter these trends.
This section includes selected content from Post-Colonialisms Today - a research and advocacy project recovering insights from the immediate post-independence period in Africa, and mobilizing them through a feminist lens to address contemporary challenges. You will find additional content at postcolonialisms.regionsrefocus.org.
Neoclassical economics focuses on the allocation of scarce resources. Economic analysis is mainly concerned with determining the efficient allocation of resources in order to increase welfare.
The dominant view of inflation holds that it is macroeconomic in origin and must always be tackled with macroeconomic tightening. In contrast, we argue that the US COVID-19 inflation is predominantly a sellers’ inflation that derives from microeconomic origins, namely the ability of firms with market power to hike prices.
This essay deals with the concepts of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
In this essay the author elaborates on the EU's perspective on the fast growing sector of the platform economy.
Approaching the law of nature that determines all forms of economy. The bulk of economic theory addresses the economic process by setting out on a catalogue of aspects, seeking the laws in the aspects and hoping to get together a reliable view of the whole.
It is perhaps fitting that the seriousness of the coronavirus threat hit most of the Western world around the Ides of March, the traditional day of reckoning of outstanding debts in Ancient Rome. After all, problems and imbalances have accumulated in the Western capitalist system over four decades, ostensibly since it took the neoliberal road out of the 1970s crisis and kept going along it, heedless of the crises and problems it led to.
With the onset of an economic crisis that has been universally acknowledged since the end of March, two main questions arise: To what extent is the corona pandemic the starting point (or even the cause) of this crisis? And secondly: can the aid programmes that have been adopted prevent a deep and prolonged recession?
Steve Keen analyses how mainstream economics fails when confronted with the covid-19-pandemic. Mainstream economics has propagated the dismantling of the state and the globalization of production - both of which make the crisis now so devastating. More fundamentally, mainstream economics deals with market systems, when what is needed to limit the virus’s spread is a command system.
The module is designed to first present some of the main schools of thought from a historical and methodological perspective. Each week we explore and critically assess the main tenants of each school of thought. In the second part of the module we link history of economic thought and methodology to a specific and contemporary economic question. The second part allows you to engage with current economic issues with an awareness of methodology and methodological differences and with some knowledge of the history of economics.
Introduction Economics is by necessity a multi paradigmatic science Several theoretical structures exist side by side and each theory can never be more than a partial theory Rothschild 1999 Likening scientific work to the self coordinating invisible hand of the market Michael Polanyi cautioned strongly against centralized attempts to steer …
The world is regularly shaken by crises some are bigger others are smaller in scope Local turmoil military conflicts commodity scarcity bank runs health threats the history of mankind can be written as a history of crises Three major global crises occurred in the last fifty years alone the oil …
Is degrowth bad economics To properly answer this question it is essential to understand what economic growth really is The term growth is often associated with an increase in wealth a term loosely defined but according to the degrowth movement economic growth is a narrower concept only describing an increase …
‘We cannot afford their peace & We cannot bear their wars’: Value, Exploitation, Profitability Crises & ‘Rectification’
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
Marxian Political Economy focuses on the exploitation of labour by capital. The economy is not conceived as consisting of neutral transactions for exchange and cooperation, but instead as having developed historically out of asymmetric distributions of power, ideology and social conflicts.
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
After completing the module, participants should have knowledge and understanding about the theory of Critical Political Economy and its basic methods. They should be able to apply central concepts to analyse critical questions regarding the embeddedness of economic relations within broader social, political and ecological relations.
Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, discusses the role of the state in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei and Camden Goetz discuss the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Africa’s natural resources.