The global financial crisis (GFC) led to increasing distrust in economic research and the economics profession, in the process of which the current state of economics and economic education in particular were heavily criticized. Against this background we conducted a study with undergraduate students of economics in order to capture their view of economic education.
Economics is extremely sick. It is so locked in its past that nearly all of its introductory textbooks are modelled on one that appeared in 1948. The discipline cannot continue in its autistic state much longer.
Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations provided the first, most influential and lasting explanation of the workings of modern economics. But with his focus on "the market" as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life, Smith's concepts only told part of the story, leading to flawed economic models that devalue activities that fall outside of the market's parameters of buying and selling.
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash In this course you will learn all of the major principles of microeconomics normally taught in a quarter or semester course to college undergraduates or MBA students Perhaps more importantly you will also learn how to apply these principles to a wide variety of …
In her short contribution, the author questions how the value of goods and services is shaped in current neoclassical teaching. She criticizes the principle of pricing based on marginal income. She discusses what can be called wealth generating, what kind of wealth we need and points out a lack of a value theory.
This lecture was held in the context of the a two day conference called Which pluralism for thinking about how to achieve a more sustainable and resilient economy The practices institutions and system logics of today s economy are not suitable for appropriately addressing fundamental human needs The climate crisis …
Keynes, following the tradition of Marx, argued that all values are created by labour and profits. However, functional income distribution between wages and profits is explained differently. In Marx's explanation of functional income distribution, wages are given as a basket of goods needed for the reproduction needs of the working class. Profits are then the remaining part of income creation. Given the capital stock, the profit rate can be calculated. The paper shows that Marx's explanation of functional income distribution has several theoretical and practical shortcomings. The Keynesian paradigm in the tradition of the original Keynes provides an alternative. Here the profit rate is given by processes in the financial market, and, among other things, by the interest rate. Monopolistic or oligopolistic structures, following the tradition of Kalecki, can also influence the profit rate. In addition, financialisation can push up the profit rate. Given the capital stock the consumption basket of workers depends on the level of productivity and the profit rate explained in a Keynesian and Kaleckian way.
Michael Kalecki famously remarked “I have found out what economics is; it is the science of confusing stocks with flows”. Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models were developed precisely to address this kind of confusion. The basic intuition of SFC models is that the economy is built up as a set of intersecting balance sheets, where transactions between entities are called flows and the value of the assets/liabilities they hold are called stocks. Wages are a flow; bank deposits are a stock, and confusing the two directly is a category error. In this edition of the pluralist showcase I will first describe the logic of SFC models – which is worth exploring in depth – before discussing empirical calibration and applications of the models. Warning that there is a little more maths in this post than usual (i.e. some), but you should be able to skip those parts and still easily get the picture.
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?
Why are income inequalities so large and why do they continue to increase in so many countries? What role can minimum wages play in reducing social and economic inequalities? What is a good system of wage bargaining? What constitutes a fair wage?
Once in a while the world astonishes itself. Anxious incredulity replaces intellectual torpor and a puzzled public strains its antennae in every possible direction, desperately seeking explanations for the causes and nature of what just hit it. 2008 was such a moment. Not only did the financial system collapse, and send the real economy into a tailspin, but it also revealed the great gulf separating economics from a very real capitalism.
The notion that the demand and supply side are independent is a key feature of textbook undergraduate economics and of modern macroeconomic models. Economic output is thought to be constrained by the productive capabilities of the economy - the ‘supply-side' - through technology, demographics and capital investment. In the short run a boost in demand may increase GDP and employment due to frictions such as sticky wages, but over the long-term successive rises in demand without corresponding improvements on the supply side can only create inflation as the economy reaches capacity. In this post I will explore the alternative idea of demand-led growth, where an increase in demand can translate into long-run supply side gains. This theory is most commonly associated with post-Keynesian economics, though it has been increasingly recognised in the mainstream literature.
This chapter discusses the role of gender in economic relations, processes, and outcomes. Gender differences in economic outcomes such as labor force participation and wages have received growing attention from economists in the last several decades – a positive and much needed development in economic thinking.
Paul Mason presents the main arguments of his book PostCapitalism. First, he argues that capitalism runs out of its capability to adapt to crises and second states that information technology challenges the capitalist system. In a nutshell, he argues that a society which fully exploits information technologies can't include concepts such as intellectual property, free market or private ownership. This has far-reaching consequences for the organisation of wages and work. The talk stops at minute 37.30.
Özlem Onaran analyses the current problems of secular stagnation from a global perspective. At the core of global economic problems is insufficient demand caused by falling wage shares, because most individual countries, and the world as a whole are “wage-led”. Hence a strategy for global growth is to aim at increasing wages and thus the wage share, and the abandonment of policies focusing purely on national competitiveness. Financialization has broken the link between corporate profitability and investment. Reregulation of finance and higher public investment is required in order to crowd in private investment, in this way, reversing the declining trend of potential output growth.
This graduate-level course examines issues related to women’s paid and unpaid work during a time of rapid integration of world markets. Students will analyze the role of government policy, unions, corporate responsibility, and social movements in raising women's wages, promoting equal opportunity, fighting discrimination in the workplace, and improving working conditions.
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.
Caring activities are one central element of feminist economists' analysis – also since in particular unremunerated work is a blind spot in mainstream economics and most other economic paradigms. Those focus on the market sphere: activities are considered as productive and as real labour if they are remunerated and market-intermediated. Goods and services are considered as labour if they create a value which can be traded on the market. Feminist Economics remarks that this perspective creates certain dichotomies and consequent devaluations: unproductive – productive; private – public; unpaid – remunerated OR paid less – well paid; female – male; soft work – hard work; caring – rationality.
Part I: Basic Economic Problems Is Economics a Science? Is It Useful? (Lawrence Boland, Ian Parker) Is There Such a Thing as a Free Market? (William Watson, Robert Prasch) Part II: Consumers and Firms Is Homo Economicus an Appropriate Representation of Real-World Consumers? (Joseph Persky, Morris Altman) Is the Consumer Sovereign?
This book introduces 40 critical pointers for those who wish to see the theory in a broader, more realistic context. The material is suitable for introductory and intermediate courses and can be included selectively by students for additional reading or in lectures or tutorials as discussion points. "Students of mainstream economics need a guide like this to help them understand the underlying assumptions, limitations and inbuilt biases of what they are studying. It helps them open their eyes to a broader view of how real economies work."
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is rapidly spreading around the world. The real economy is simultaneously hit by a supply shock and a demand shock by the spread of coronavirus. Such a twin shock is a rare phenomenon in recent economic history.
What is money and how is it used? After answering these questions, Dirk Bezemer analyses how finance can be dysfunctional for the real economy.
Markets are the focus in modern economics: when they work, when they don’t and what we can or can’t do about it. There are many ways to study markets and how we do so will inevitably affect our conclusions about them, including policy recommendations which can influence governments and other major organisations. Pluralism can be a vital corrective to enacting real policies based on only one perspective and a plethora of approaches provide alternatives to the canonical view. Although they have differing implications, these approaches share the idea that we should take a historical approach, analysing markets on a case-by-case basis; and they share a faith in the power of both individuals and collectives to overcome the problems encountered when organising economic activity.
This book arose from our conviction that the NNS-DSGE approach to the analysis of aggregate market outcomes is fundamentally flawed. The practice of overcoming the SMD result by recurring to a fictitious RA leads to insurmountable methodological problems and lies at the root of DSGE models’ failure to satisfactorily explain real world features.
In this radio interview, Andrew Sayer first outlines some features of neoliberalism and policies that are associated with it. Then a difference between wealth creation via investment and wealth extraction by means of lending money to those deprived of it or by acquiring property such as real estate or financial assets on the secondary market as absentee owner is established. In this context reference is made to J.A. Hobson's concept of "improperty." Finally, there are some words on the power dynamics associated with capitalism and its relation to climate change.
Eckhard Hein criticises the mainstream's view of secular stagnation as the result of a negative real equilibrium interest rate. Arguing in a Keynesian spirit with particular reference to Steindl, secular stagnation is considered to be a result of shift in the functional income distribution, and oligopolistic organisation of industries, leading to excess capacity and reluctance to invest. This acts as a drag on effective demand and results in secular stagnation. Distributional policies and public investment can, however, overcome stagnation its tendencies.
Irene van Staveren, professor of pluralist development economics, presents her pluralist teaching method for the introductory level. Based on her textbook “Economics After the Crisis: An Introduction to Economics from a Pluralist and Global Perspective” she suggests to focus on real-world problems and pari passu apply economic theories such as Social economics, Institutional economics, Post-Keynesian economics as well as Neoclassical economics without wasting time to single out the latter. Besides pointing out advantages of such a pluralist method Irene illustrates her approach based on interesting topics such as growth or feminist economics.
In order to describe the global structure of the monetary and financial system and its effects on the global economy, most economics textbooks rely on unappropriated theories that provide nothing but outdated descriptions. In this talk, key speakers in economics, economic history and banking try to make this complex system a little more understandable by relying on real-world insights.
James Robinson gives in this talk a short introduction into the theory and ideas of his popular book "Why Nations Fail" which was published together with D. Acemoglu in 2012. With many real-life examples he gives a lively description on the fundamentals for economic success from an institutionalist view. According to Robinson, the nature of institutions is a crucial factor for economic success. Whether institutions are inclusive (such as in prosperous economies) or extractive (poor economies) stems from the nation's political process and the distribution of political power.
After completing the module, participants should be able to have general overview on the theory of commons. They can differentiate between neoclassical, new institutional and social/critical commons theory and can use these theories to assess real life common-pool resource management and commoning pratices.
Global Value Chains (GVCs) started to play an increasing and key role in the global economy from the 1990s on. The market mechanism in GVCs supports industrialisation in the Global South and under certain conditions product and process upgrading. But GVCs do not lead to the catching-up of countries in the sense of them approaching real GDP per capita levels comparable with developed countries. These arguments are supported by a critical interpretation of the traditional trade theory, the New Trade Theory and specific approaches to explain GVCs, especially different governance structures and power relationships. Several case studies support these arguments. For catching-up, countries need comprehensive horizontal and vertical industrial policy and policies for social coherence. The small number of countries which managed to catch up did this in different variations.
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.