“Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses1.” This is how Lionel Robbins came to define economics in the early 1930s and there is a good chance that many of you heard a variant of this definition in your first Economics 101 lecture.
Based on a paper by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis Decoupling refers to the separation of economic value creation material extraction and pollution. Ecological limits pose a challenge to growth-led development and the low historical and predicted rate of decoupling suggests that long-term sustainable growth-led development is impossible.
In this searing and insightful critique, Adrienne Buller examines the fatal biases that have shaped the response of our governing institutions to climate and environmental breakdown, and asks: are the 'solutions' being proposed really solutions? Tracing the intricate connections between financial power, economic injustice and ecological crisis, she exposes the myopic economism and market-centric thinking presently undermining a future where all life can flourish.
Is or has economics ever been the imperial social science? Could or should it ever be so? These are the central concerns of this book. It involves a critical reflection on the process of how economics became the way it is, in terms of a narrow and intolerant orthodoxy, that has, nonetheless, increasingly directed its attention to appropriating the subject matter of other social sciences through the process termed "economics imperialism".
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.
Green Growth has been increasingly discussed as a solution to the socio-ecological crisis. But can economic growth be sustainable at all?
The Sufficiency Policy Map is an online tool for initiatives, political actors, organisations and individuals. It provides recommendations, strategies and communication tools for realizing projects and policy around the topic sufficiency. Sufficiency projects have the aim to reduce one's own ecological footprint.
How should we discuss welfare when understanding the role of growth and the viability of Growth-led development? One option is to look at subjective happiness. This provides an anti-materialistic view which may superficially appear more compatible with significant reductions in consumption in order to remain within safe ecological limits.
The British historian, Adam Tooze, highlights how the climate crisis is not just an environmental or ecological problem but also a political economy challenge.
This article, looks at the complex interaction between an urban economy and the vegetation within that urban area. In summary, numerous studies have found a positive link between increased vegetation and social as well as personal health. It makes a case for increasing urban vegetation as a way to benefit local economies.
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.
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "The Philosophy and Methodology of Economics" at the Duke University
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?
Feminist economics is a key component of the movement for pluralism in economics and one that has, to some extent, been acknowledged by the mainstream of the profession. It seeks to highlight issues which affect women because (it claims) they have not traditionally been recognised in a field dominated by men. On top of this, it seeks to carve out a space for women in the discipline, both for intrinsic reasons of fairness and diversity and because it means that women’s issues are more likely to be highlighted going forward.
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.
This book is intended as a textbook for a course in behavioural economics for advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have already learned basic economics. The book will also be useful for introducing behavioural economics to researchers. Unlike some general audience books that discuss behavioural economics, this book does not take the position of negating traditional economics completely.
‘We cannot afford their peace & We cannot bear their wars’: Value, Exploitation, Profitability Crises & ‘Rectification’
Does Karl Polanyi's work “The Great Transformation” serve to analyse the current multiple crisis and social movements? Nancy Fraser revises Polanyi's concept of a double movement to capture social forces in the aftermath of the economic crisis of the 1930s – on the one side marketization and on the other hand social protection. Fraser proposes to talk about a triple movement and to account for emancipatory struggles. In the lecture, she discusses interactions as well as conflicts between those three forces, in particular conflicting aims of social protection. The lecture presents the content of her paper “A TRIPLE MOVEMENT? Parsing the Politics of Crisis after Polanyi“ in the New Left Review (2013).
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 module examines current socio-political issues through the lens of pluralism, that is pluralism of theory, pluralism of method and interdisciplinary pluralism
This book discusses the relationship between pluralist economics and the case study method of teaching, advocating the complimentary use of both to advance economics education. Using a multi-paradigmatic philosophical frame of analysis, the book discusses the philosophical, methodological, and practical aspects of the case study method while drawing comparisons with those of the more commonly used lecture method.
Participants should be able to distinguish the strictly non-cooperative (methodological individualist) foundations of traditional neoclassical economics as being couched in self-interested individuals, as well as having basic knowledge of an alternative set of theories based on the primacy cooperation and social norms and extending the breadth of economic analysis beyond exchange.
The Routledge Handbook of Heterodox Economics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest work on economic theory and policy from a 'pluralistic' heterodox perspective.
Contributions throughout the Handbook explore different theoretical perspectives including: Marxian-radical political economics; Post Keynesian-Sraffian economics; institutionalist-evolutionary economics; feminist economics; social economics.
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep structural rifts in modern capitalist economies. It has exposed and exacerbated the long-lasting systemic inequalities in income, wealth, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of economic success across a variety of dimensions including class, gender, race, regions, and nations. This workshop explores the causes of economic inequality in contemporary capitalist economies and its consequences for the economy and society in the post-pandemic reality, as well as what steps can be taken to alleviate economic inequality in the future. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary insights, the workshop encourages you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality and aims to challenge the way in which the issue is typically approached in economics.
This course provides future change makers in public and private sectors with a comprehensive overview on the structures and actors that shape markets.
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.
In this essay the authors argue for a wider concept of care work that includes community building, civic engagement and environmental activism. On the basis of the case of Cargonomia, a grassroot initiative in Budapest, they show that such a wider concept of care work could allow for different narratives that promote sustainable lifestyles with a milder environmental and social impact on the planet and its communities.
In this essay the author reviews empirical studies in economics that analyze factors behind the rise of nationalist and populist parties in Western countries. He stresses that economic factors (e.g., trade shocks and economic crisis) play a crucial role in the rise of populist parties; however, the discussion of mechanisms driving this trend remains unsatisfying
This brief note explores the possibility of working towards an enlarged self-definition of economics through economists’ study and appreciation of economic sociology. Common ground between economic sociology and heterodox economics is explored, and some of Richard Sennett’s ideas are used as prompts to raise some pertinent and hopefully interesting questions about economics. In particular, the note revisits the question of whether there is a possibility of changing our understanding of what kind of social scientific work falls within the domain of economics proper once we start critically engaging with work conventionally considered to be outside of that domain. In part, the note is intended to offer undergraduate students in economics – and possibly even those further down the road in their education – food for thought about what constitutes economics.
In this essay, the principle of capital accumulation, as well as the idea of homo economicus as the basis of the growth model, are located and analyzed from a feminist perspective. The sufficiency approach is presented as an alternative to these two economic logics.
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.
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.