Economists like to base their theories on individual decision making. Individuals, the idea goes, have their own interests and preferences, and if we don’t include these in our theory we can’t be sure how people will react to changes in their economic circumstances and policy. While there may be social influences, in an important sense the buck stops with individuals. Understanding how individuals process information to come to decisions about their health, wealth and happiness is crucial. You can count me as someone who thinks that on the whole, this is quite a sensible view.
The most successful multialternative theories of decision making assume that people consider individual aspects of a choice and proceed via a process of elimination. Amos Tversky was one of the pioneers of this field, but modern decision theorists – most notably Neil Stewart – have moved things forward. At the current stage the theories are able to explain a number of strictly ‘irrational’ but reasonable quirks of human decision making, including various heuristics and biases. Not only this, but eye movements of participants strongly imply that the decision-making process depicted in the theories is an accurate one.
The piece describes some of the effects that Nixon's decision to delink the dollar from gold in the 1970s had for the relationship between the IMF and its member states. A focus is on the negative effects of this change on societies in the Global South.
This course focus on the behaviour of individuals from an pluralist economic and an interdisciplinary bevavioural science apprach.
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 …
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bombay was beset by crises such as famine and plague. Yet, rather than halting the flow of capital, these crises served to secure it. In colonial Bombay, capitalists and governors, Indian and British alike, used moments of crisis to justify interventions that delimited the city as a distinct object and progressively excluded laborers and migrants from it.
Teaching Feminist Economics. Conceptual Notes and Practical Advice for Teaching a Subject in the Making
Teaching feminist economics is a relatively new didactical project posing questions of content and methodology for instructors. The article proposes three possible topics with regard to the changing nature of the emergent research field: introducing feminist economics as a mode of questioning, showing its historicity and spectrum, and asking the question of a unifying paradigm.
How do people make decisions? There is a class of models in psychology which seek to answer this question but have received scant attention in economics despite some clear empirical successes. In a previous post I discussed one of these, Decision by Sampling, and this post will look at another: the so-called Fast and Frugal heuristics pioneered by the German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer. Here the individual seeks out sufficient information to make a reasonable decision. They are ‘fast’ because they do not require massive computational effort to make a decision so can be done in seconds, and they are ‘frugal’ because they use as little information as possible to make the decision effectively.
When we have to make a decision, we consider all the pros and cons, try to gather a lot of information and estimate what consequences this decision might have. And then we make an (at least somewhat) rational decision. Or do we?
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
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 Economics and Geopolitics of Russia Selling Yuan and Gold Reserves It is important for students to understand the workings of international and public finance and that the goal of governments and politicians is not always economic efficiency when making financial decisions. Normative goals other than efficiency can motivate economic decisions. A good economist is able to recognise, clearly name and take into account the values and goals behind economic behaviour, when making sense of the world.
This course introduces students to the relevance of gender relations in economics as a discipline and in economic processes and outcomes. The course covers three main components of gender in economics and the economy: (1) the gendered nature of the construction and reproduction of economic theory and thought; (2) the relevance and role of gender in economic decision-making; and (3) differences in economic outcomes based on gender. We wil touch on the relevance of gender and gender relations in at least each of the following topics: economic theory; the history of economic thought; human capital accumulation; labor market discrimination; macroeconomic policy, including gender budgeting; household economics; basic econometrics; and economic crises.
Sporting events can be seen as controlled, real-world, miniature laboratory environments, approaching the idea of “holding other things equal” when exploring the implications of decisions, incentives, and constraints in a competitive setting (Goff and Tollison 1990, Torgler 2009). Thus, a growing number of studies have used sports data to study decision-making questions that have guided behavioral economics literature.
This article applies insights from behavioral economics to consider how the general public may make decisions around whether or not to receive a future COVID-19 vaccine in a context of frequent side effects and preexisting mistrust. Three common cognitive biases shown to influence human decision-making under a behavioral economics framework are considered confirmation bias, negativity bias, and optimism bias.
In this lecture, Konstantinos Katsikopoulos presents the concept of bounded rationality and contrasts two - as he calls it - cultures of research and analysis within Behavioral Economics: an "idealistic" and a "pragmatic" approach. Thereby, Katsikopoulos discusses amongst others their different assumptions on decision making (utility optimization vs. achievement of a satisfactory outcome), the psychological process as well as the epistemic aim and implications on policy recommendations (nudging vs. education).
This course introduces students to the relevance of gender relations in economics as a discipline and in economic processes and outcomes. The course covers three main components of gender in economics and the economy: (1) the gendered nature of the construction and reproduction of economic theory and thought; (2) the relevance and role of gender in economic decision-making; and (3) differences in economic outcomes based on gender. We will touch on the relevance of gender and gender relations in at least each of the following topics: economic theory; the history of economic thought; human capital accumulation; labor market discrimination; macroeconomic policy, including gender budgeting; household economics; basic econometrics; economic history; and economic crises.
This book explores frontier work at the intersection of experimental and environmental economics, with cutting edge research provided by premier scholars in the field.The book begins by focusing on improving benefit-cost analysis, which remains the hallmark of public policy decision-making around the globe.
What is game theory? Game theory is a way of thinking about strategic interactions between people, which makes it a crucial component of economics, political science, international relations, psychology and a variety of other disciplines that deal with the complexities of human interaction in decision making.
The podcast explores the psychosocial implications of poverty in the society. Keetie Roelen investigates how the emotion of shame and policy-making are intertwined.
Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski examine the apparent contradiction between the demise of real-existing socialism and the rise of large corporations engaging in planning every day, making a strong argument that these planning efforts should be transformed to now fulfil the needs of the people.
This brilliantly concise book is a classic introduction to Marx’s key work, Capital. In print now for over a quarter of a century, and previously translated into many languages, the new edition has been fully revised and updated, making it an ideal modern introduction to one of the most important texts in political economy.
Ha Joon Chang exposes the main ideas of his book Bad Samaritans, namely that historically states have developed and industrialized by making policy interventions related to industry protection, tariffs and subsidies and not by opening their markets to free trade. Chang elaborates on the examples of Japan, the US, Singapore and Germany amongst others to show that an interventionist path to development has been the regularity and not an anomaly. In the end of the lecture, he argues that they idea of a level playing field should be replaced by a trade order that accounts for differences in power and economic capacities of different countries. The last 20 minutes are questions and answers.
How long the COVID-19 crisis will last, and what its immediate economic costs will be, is anyone's guess. But even if the pandemic's economic impact is contained, it may have already set the stage for a debt meltdown long in the making, starting in many of the Asian emerging and developing economies on the front lines of the outbreak.
Neoclassical Economics imposed itself over the past decades as the core of mainstream economics, largely influencing academia and policy making.
Making sense of economists and their world in a persuasive and entertaining style, Arjo Klamer, shows that economics is as much about how people interact as it is about the models, the mathematics, the econometrics, the theories and the ideas that come from the enormous aggregate of economics literature. Knowing and understanding economics requires both bookwork and mingling with other economists.
If a countrys Gross Domestic Product increases each year, but so does the percentage of its people deprived of basic education, health care, and other opportunities, is that country really making progress? If we rely on conventional economic indicators, can we ever grasp how the worlds billions of individuals are really managing?
Game theory is the standard quantitative tool for analyzing the interactions of multiple decision makers. Its applications extend to economics, biology, engineering and even cyber security.
One method of economic modelling that has become increasingly popular in academia, government and the private sector is Agent Based Models, or ABM. These simulate the actions and interactions of thousands or even millions of people to try to understand the economy – for this reason ABM was once described to me as being “like Sim City without the graphics”. One advantage of ABM is that it is flexible, since you can choose how many agents there are (an agent just means some kind of 'economic decision maker' like a firm, consumer, worker or government); how they behave (do they use complicated or simple rules to make decisions?); as well as the environment they act in, then just run the simulation and see what happens as they interact over time.
The Austrian School of Economics is an intellectual tradition in economics and political economy dating back to Carl Menger in the late-19th century. Menger stressed the subjective nature of value in the individual decision calculus. Individual choices are indeed made on the margin, but the evaluations of rank ordering of ends sought in the act of choice are subjective to individual chooser.
Designed for both undergraduates and MBA students taking their first course in business economics, this text focuses on introducing students to economics as a framework for understanding business. It is structured around problems that decision-makers face, such as rejuvenating the firm in the face of declining demand.
This article explores if power dynamics in the household can be changed, and if so, how. In this context the focus is laid on government childcare policy and its various channels of possible influence.