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121 results

2015
Level: beginner
The principle of diminishing marginal utility is explained referring to the diminishing relevance (or usefulness) of uses that people will direct an extra unit of a homogenous good to. Then the opportunity cost of holding a certain amount of money in relation to the possession of a good is explored. From this assessment, the market process is explained in terms of the "double inequality" of value, where seller and buyer have different subjective values attached to the good in question and to money, which leads to an exchange. If prices are not enabling exchange the laws of supply and demand will make prices converge. The prices of non-consumption goods and services are calculated backwards from consumer prices by entrepreneurs.
2016
Level: advanced
This book retraces the history of macroeconomics from Keynes's General Theory to the present. Central to it is the contrast between a Keynesian era and a Lucasian - or dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) - era, each ruled by distinct methodological standards.
2015
Level: beginner
Trickle Down Economics - an old topic, but still present in our lives. The idea consists of deregulation of the economy and of lower tax for the top in order to increase the "size of the pie" so everybody would have a bigger piece, even with a smaller share.
2022
Level: beginner
This note, by Theresa Neef, Panayiotis Nicolaides, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, and Gabriel Zucman, provides data on wealth inequality in Russia and advocates for a European Asset Registry.
2020
Level: beginner
How countries achieve long-term GDP growth is up there with the most important topics in economics. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas put it “the consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” Ricardo Hausmann et al take a refreshing approach to this question in their Atlas of Economic Complexity. They argue a country’s growth depends on the complexity of its economy: it must have a diverse economy which produces a wide variety of products, including ones that cannot be produced much elsewhere. The Atlas goes into detail on exactly what complexity means, how it fits the data, and what this implies for development. Below I will offer a summary of their arguments, including some cool data visualisations.
2012
Level: beginner
Renowned scholars elaborate a critique on neoclassical economics and how it was unable to predict and even favoured the financial crisis. They refer to DSGE models, equilibrium theory and rational agents – a brief insight in the critique on neoclassic economics.
2019
Level: advanced
Diane Perrons and Sigrid Stagl combine feminist and critical environmental economics perspectives to develop a critique of the free market growth model and offer new ideas for a more sustainable gender equitable model of development in the interests of all.
2014
Level: beginner
Critique of neoclassical economics is presented and contrasted with the more realistic assumptions made by an complex adaptive systems and evolutionary approach.
2011
Level: beginner
Based on a critique on econometric and DSGE models (in particular in the context of the financial crisis), Doyne Farmer presents his current research programme that aims at building an agent-based model of the financial and economic crisis. It models heterogeneous agents and from there simulates the economy, firstly for the housing market. The interview gives a short insight in the research programme.
2015
Level: beginner
What does GDP measure? How was it constructed and how did it become so important? What are alternatives? A historical introduction into the critique of GDP as measure of economic welfare.
2013
Level: beginner
Silvia Federici outlines the content of her book „Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation“. Departing from a critique of the Marxist blindspot on reproductive labour, Federici aims at researching the historical process by which the exploitation of women and the construction of the unproductive housewife has been established. Federici points to the transition from the feudal to the capitalist mode of production and explains how the gender specific prosecution (witch hunt) was linked to necessity of control over bodies and the sexuality in the great transformation. Federici also presents arguments why this research is highly relevant for the analysis of women's situation in current capitalism.
2017
Level: beginner
The text presents a short perspective of International Political Economy, which "have often sought to complement discussions of governance with a healthy dose of critique", on resistance against e.g. economic inequality or economic and political power.
2015
Level: expert
In this lecture Mirowski claims that a good critique of and alternative to neoclassical economics should focus on microeconomics. In addition, he claims that mainstream economics is not about a specific "human nature", instead the understanding of markets (partially based on Hayek) is of special importance. As an alternative Mirowski proposes institutionalist economics that builds upon how markets work nowadays (e.g. links to computer science).
2016
Level: advanced
In spite of the manifold critique about the state of economics in the aftermath of the financial crisis, an even increasing presence of economists and economic experts can be observed in the public sphere during the last years. On the one hand this reflects the still dominant position of economics in the social sciences as well as the sometimes ignorant attitude of economists towards findings of other social sciences. On the other hand this paper shows that the public debate on politico-economic issues among economists is dominated by a specific subgroup of economists, tightly connected to an institutional network of “German neoliberalism”. This group of “public economists” (i) is dominant in public debates even after the financial crisis, (ii) reproduces the formative German economic imaginary of the Social Market Economy in a German neoliberal interpretation and (iii) has a good access to German economic policymaking, rooted in a long history of economic policy advice.
2019
Level: expert
This paper attempts to clarify how the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards can be understood from the perspective of a Marxian monetary theory of value that emphasizes intrinsic, structural flaws regarding capitalist reproduction. Chapter two provides an empirical description of the European economic crisis, which to some extent already reflects the structural theoretical framework presented in chapter three. Regarding the theoretical framework Michael Heinrich's interpretation of 'the' Marxian monetary theory of value will be presented. Heinrich identifies connections between production and realization, between profit and interest rate as well as between industrial and fictitious capital, which represent contradictory tendencies for which capitalism does not have simple balancing processes. In the context of a discussion of 'structural logical aspects' of Marx's Critique of the Political Economy, explanatory deficits of Heinrich's approach are analyzed. In the following, it is argued that Fred Moseley's view of these 'structural logical aspects' allows empirical 'applications' of Marxian monetary theories of value. It is concluded that a Marxian monetary theory of value, with the characteristics of expansive capital accumulation and its limitations, facilitates a structural analysis of the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards. In this line of argument, expansive production patterns are expressed, among other things, in global restructuring processes, while consumption limitations are mitigated by expansive financial markets and shifts in ex-port destinations.
2018
Level: advanced
Islamic finance's phenomenal growth owes to the Shariah compliant nature of its financial instruments. Shariah forbids the charging of interest (Riba) and instead promulgates risk-sharing and trade-based modes of financing. The Islamic financial industry has been subject to both critique and admiration. Critics argue that Islamic instruments (bearing debt-based structures) differ from their conventional counterparts only in legal lexicon and not in economic impact.
2015
Level: beginner
This lively introduction to heterodox economics provides a balanced critique of the standard introductory macroeconomic curriculum. In clear and accessible prose, it explains many of the key principles that underlie a variety of alternative theoretical perspectives (including institutionalist economics, radical economics, Post Keynesian economics, feminist economics, ecological economics, Marxist economics, social economics, and socioeconomics).
2015
Level: advanced
This classic text offers a broader intellectual foundation than traditional principles textbooks. It introduces students to both traditional economic views and their progressive critique.
2004
Level: advanced
Regression Analysis: A Constructive Critique identifies a wide variety of problems with regression analysis as it is commonly used and then provides a number of ways in which practice could be improved.
2020
Level: beginner
How did Britain's economy become a bastion of inequality? In this landmark book, the author of The New Enclosure provides a forensic examination and sweeping critique of early-twenty-first-century capitalism. Brett Christophers styles this as 'rentier capitalism', in which ownership of key types of scarce assets--such as land, intellectual property, natural resources, or digital platforms--is all-important and dominated by a few unfathomably wealthy companies and individuals: rentiers.
2020
Level: advanced
While many are unsatisfied with capitalism and critique it in highly sophisticated ways, there are few concrete proposals for a socialist mode of production that could replace the capitalist one. Daniel E. Saros has developed such a proposal in his book "Information Technology and Socialist Construction – The End of Capital and the Transition to Socialism" which we discuss at length over the course of two episodes.
 
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2021
Level: beginner
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.
2017
Level: beginner
This paper starts with an evaluation of three common arguments against pluralism in economics: (1) the claim that economics is already pluralist, (2) the argument that if there was the need for greater plurality, it would emerge on its own, and (3) the assertion that pluralism means ‘anything goes’ and is thus unscientific. Pluralist responses to all three arguments are summarized. The third argument is identified to relate to a greater challenge for pluralism: an epistemological trade-off between diversity and consensus that suggests moving from a discussion about ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ towards a discussion about the adequate degree of plurality. We instantiate the trade-off by showing how it originates from two main challenges: the need to derive adequate quality criteria for a pluralist economics, and the necessity to propose strategies that ensure the communication across different research programs. The paper concludes with some strategies to meet these challenges.
 
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.
 
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
2020
Level: advanced
In the history of the social sciences, few individuals have exerted as much influence as has Jeremy Bentham. His attempt to become “the Newton of morals” has left a marked impression upon the methodology and form of analysis that social sciences like economics and political science have chosen as modus operandi.
2021
Level: beginner
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 …
2019
Level: beginner
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.
1994
Level: beginner
This unique up-to-date volume not only provides state-of-the-art discussions of the most recent developments in modern macroeconomics but also includes a series of interviews with leading economists that shed new light on the major intellectual and policy issues of the 1990s. The book is at once an invaluable text and a superb overview that will be welcomed by teachers and students alike.
2021
Level: beginner
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.

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