Could working less make people and the planet better off? Find out in this dossier by exploring the landscape of working time reduction policies and their potential for reimagining, restructuring, and redistributing time as a political resource in the 21st century economy.
In this podcast, Amy Goodman and Juan González explore together with Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, inequality and the state of the U.S. economy. Topics they touch upon are capitalism, taxation, powerlessness of citizens and Joseph Stiglitz's book entitled People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.
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.
Economics has long been the domain of the ivory tower, where specialized language and opaque theorems make it inaccessible to most people. That’s a problem.
The course approaches migration as a constant phenomenon in human history and examines its main supporting theories It illustrates theories about people s individual decisions to migrate and also the factors of migration as a structural feature of our societies It explains the role social networks and institutions play in …
The idea of a Green New Deal was launched into popular consciousness by US Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018. Evocative of the far-reaching ambitions of its namesake, it has become a watchword in the current era of global climate crisis. But its new ubiquity brings ambiguity: what - and for whom - is the Green New Deal?
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.
Happiness economics is a branch in behavioral economics, where it explores the economics factors and consequences of happy humans. What makes people happier, and what benefits do we get when people are happier? This dossier introduces you to the field of happiness economics, from a review of economic factors proposed to influence people’s happiness, to a discussion of the economic consequences of happiness, and concludes with economic policy implications of happiness economics.
The webinar covers three different topics that relate to reconciling with the Indigenous people in Australia: financial resilience, childcare/child development and economic participation through business procurement. Despite showing significant strength and resilience in the face of colonial injustices, Australian Indigenous people and their families continue to be affected by past trauma.
This self-paced free course by Perry Merhling guides you to his "Money View" approach that integrates the fields of economics and finance. The course can easily be understood by people interested people without technical economic knowledge or training as it is primarily a tool for analysis.
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.
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.
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.
If there’s one method economists have neglected the most, it’s qualitative research. Whereas economists favour mathematical models and statistics, qualitative research seeks to understand the world through intensive investigation of particular circumstances, which usually entails interviewing people directly about their experiences. While this may sound simple to quantitative types the style, purpose, context, and interpretation of an interview can vary widely. Because of this variety, I have written a longer post than usual on this topic rather than doing it a disservice. Having said that, examples of qualitative research in economics are sadly scant enough that it doesn’t warrant multiple posts. In this post I will introduce qualitative research in general with nods to several applications including the study of firm behaviour, race, Austrian economics, and health economics. More than usual I will utilise block quotes, which I feel is in the spirit of the topic.
As the Covid-19 fueled economic downturn begins to intensify this winter, an extended study of the Italian cooperative sector’s historical resilience in times of crisis can serve as a learning experience for other countries seeking to create policies that foster more stable economies, with job security, care for marginalized communities and adequate counter-cyclical policies. Particularly, the Italian cooperative sector’s contributions to three aspects should be noted in closing. Firstly, the innovative phenomenon of cooperative enterprises has contributed to social inclusion of immigrant communities, the activation of youth, the unemployed and people with disabilities, a true compensation for both a market and state failure. Secondly, they have contributed to a reduction in income and wealth inequalities at a time when the issue of inequality is of global significance. Thirdly, the Italian cooperative movement has helped local communities revitalize in the face of demographic shifts and rendered them more resilient to the ravages of globalization. Each of these in their own right is a remarkable achievement.
Stratification economics is defined as a systemic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality. Stratification economics integrates economics, sociology and social psychology to distinctively analyze inequality across groups that are socially differentiated, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, caste, sexuality, religion or any other social differentiation.
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.
Pluralism includes mainstream economics. Our campaign for pluralism, including this series, have generally focused on ideas outside the mainstream on the basis that it gets plenty of attention already so we want to spend our time exposing people to alternatives. Nevertheless, mainstream ideas deserve some attention. On top of this, a curious feature of modern economics education is that some of the best ideas from mainstream economics are not even taught to undergraduates! During this series I will explore such ideas, starting today with the market construction technique known as ‘matching’.
The Philosophy of Economics Foundational Text provides a systematic and well-structured overview over the field of philosophy of economics.
The core of Georgism is a policy known as the Land Value Tax (LVT), a policy which Georgists claim will solve many of society and the economy’s ills. Georgism is an interesting school of thought because it has the twin properties that (1) despite a cult following, few people in either mainstream or (non-Georgist) heterodox economics pay it much heed; (2) despite not paying it much heed, both mainstream and heterodox economists largely tend to agree with Georgists. I will focus on the potential benefits Georgists argue an LVT will bring and see if they are borne out empirically. But I will begin by giving a nod to the compelling theoretical and ethical dimensions of George’s analysis, which are impossible to ignore.
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?
Popular anger against the financial system has never been higher, yet the practical workings of the system remain opaque to many people. The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance aims to bridge the gap between protest slogans and practical proposals for reform.
Wealth inequality between Black and white people in the US barely has changed in the last 150 years. In her book "The Color of Money. Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap" Mehrsa Baradaran, analyzes why also Black banks have not successfully changed this and not enabled Black wealth on a broader scale.
According to Karl Marx, work should satisfy people and encourage creativity. But the capitalist production, the separation of labour and the exploitation of workers alienates them from their products.
Esther Duflo discusses the fact that in social policy one cannot check the big questions, i.e. whether development assistance as an aggregate is helpful, because there is no counterfactual. She then suggests to focus on smaller questions such as what prevents or incentiveses people from immunizing their kids or whether mosquito bednets should be distributed for free. These questions can be answered by using randomized control trials as in the medical sciences. Thus, she argues, by bringing the experimental method to social policy analysis better decisions as to where allocate funds can be made.
The podcast exposes the concept and principles of co-operatives and the three main types of co-operatives: the consumer, credit and farmers buying and selling co-operatives. Furthermore, the history of the co-operative movement is presented. The authors draw the line from co-operatives to "degrowth" by arguing that these organisations discourage profit maximisation due to their ownership structure, their social purpose and their primacy of people over capital. The value of the members' co-operative share does not increase with the growth of a co-operative and it can not be used for speculation. Finally, the authors give examples for current co-operatives which empower (local) communities fostering social justice and environmentalism.
In this Ted Talk, Oxford economist Kate Raworth argues that instead of prioritizing the growth of nations, the world should rather prioritize meeting the needs of all people living on the planet within ecological limits.
In this virtual teach-in, radical economists David McNally (author of the essential Global Slump) and Hadas Thier (author of the forthcoming A People’s Guide to Capitalism) will try to help activists make sense of the twists, turns, and sudden collapses in the world economy that have been playing out in the background during this global health emergency.
Nathan Tankus created this series to introduce people outside of the inner financial circles of professionals, journalists and policymakers to the basic mechanisms and dynamics of monetary policy.
"Bank Underground" is the staff blog of the Bank of England, founded to publish the views and insights of the people working for one of the world's oldest central banks. The blog covers a wide range of macroeconomic topics, mostly linked to the effects of monetary policy, of course, but not all the time. It provides timely, relevant analysis of contemporary challenges in economic policy and is thus often a perfect primer.
This article provides a contextual framework for understanding the gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, social, and economic outcomes. The pandemic has generated massive losses in lives, impacted people’s health, disrupted markets and livelihoods, and created profound reverberations in the home. In 112 countries that reported sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 cases, men showed an overall higher infection rate than women, and an even higher mortality rate. However, women’s relatively high representation in sectors hardest hit by lockdown orders has translated into larger declines in employment for women than men in numerous countries. Evidence also indicates that stay-at-home orders have increased unpaid care workloads, which have fallen disproportionately to women. Further, domestic violence has increased in frequency and severity across countries. The article concludes that policy response strategies to the crisis by women leaders have contributed to more favorable outcomes compared to outcomes in countries led by men.
This short video visualizes the destabilizing effects financial markets can have on food prices, based on a paper by Jayati Ghosh. It introduces and explains the idea of future contracts and how those are used to speculate with basic food stuffs. After establishing the concepts, the video sketches out how the increase in those practices resulted in a substantial rise and later collapse of food prices around 2008 with severe consequences for many developing countries and their people.