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96 results

2019
Level: beginner
What data is used in the economic models of the IPCC? How problematic is it, that tipping points are often ignored? A very interesting presentation by Steve Keen during the OECD Conference "Averting Systemic Collapse".
2016
Level: advanced
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."
2015
Level: expert
In this keynote lecture during the conference „The Spectre of Stagnation? Europe in the World Economy“, Till van Treek presents research on how changes in income distribution lead to macroeconomic instability and crisis, focusing on currents accounts. Treek presents the relative income hypothesis in contrast to other mainstream and Post-Keynesian explanations. The relative income hypothesis proposes that aggregate demand increases and savings decrease with rising personal income inequality due to upward looking status comparison – but effects depend on the quantile where income inequality increases. Treek points to the importance of accounting for both income and functional income distribution and underlines his arguments with data comparing different pattern in Germany and the U.S.
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.
2014
Level: beginner
This multimedia dossier is part of the series „Understanding Finance“ by Finance Watch. The dossier focuses on universal banks – banks that pursue commercial and investment banking and points out several problems of those megabanks, especially in the context of the financial crisis (too big to fail).
2016
Level: beginner
In the inspiring interview on Economics of Care, Nancy Foblre takes a closer look to the consequences of the marketization of caring activities on those activities and on the societal organization of care. Folbre elaborates on how to value care and how this shifts the perspectives on living standards. She points to the fact, that caring activities are undervalued both in the market sphere and within the family and thereby questions the division between those spheres. Lastly, Folbre answers the question how to reteach Economics when accounting for caring activities.
2016
Level: beginner
This multimedia dossier explores the production chain of smartphones. In particular due to the violation of workers' rights and low payments, the author Benjamin Selwyn calls those production structures global poverty chains. In this context, he points to the importance of workers' struggles.
2019
Level: advanced
As opposed to the conventional over-simplified assumption of self-interested individuals, strong evidence points towards the presence of heterogeneous other-regarding preferences in agents. Incorporating social preferences – specifically, trust and reciprocity - and recognizing the non-constancy of these preferences across individuals can help models better represent the reality.
2018
Level: advanced
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.
2019
Level: beginner
John Christensen from the Tax Justice Network addresses the Modern Monetary Theory idea that governments don't need tax revenues if they want to spend money. Doing so, he sums up the main points made by MMT proponents and their critics, and shows how MMT can be reconciled with another progressive economic narrative: "Modern Tax Theory". While MMT made valuable contributions to the policy debate on fiscal policy, it misrepresents the importance of taxation as a political matter and as a way to generate public revenues. This is where MMT steps in.
2018
Level: beginner
The documentary features a talk of the US-American writer and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin summarising the main points of his 2011 book "The Third Industrial Revolution."
2015
Level: beginner
This blogpost discusses the bias the Economics discipline has towards Africa. It points out how important conferences on issues regarding Africa take place in Western countries at the expense of those based in Africa.
2015
Level: advanced
The book is a collection of 51 texts by different scholars and activists, who each adds a dimension/perspective to the topics of degrowth and societal transformation. A societal transformation towards a degrowth society is dependent on a lot of ideas coming together and creating change from various starting points within a society. Therefore, the authors are quite diverse and their contributions vary from being philosophical, natural science based, economic, sociological and so forth. Some are specfiically focused on a concept and others are a more broad critique of e.g., capitalism or growth.
2013
Level: beginner
Professor Jennifer Clapp explains the dynamics of financialization of land and agricultural commodities in Subsaharan Africa. She points to the historical roots of accelerated land speculation and their connection to financial institutions, both generating and reinforcing the process of financialization of African land. Besides talking about roots and dynamics of speculation with land on financial markets, she puts the perspective of scholarly investigation onto the investor's side in discussing guidelines of responsible investment and regulation in the front instead of focussing on the receiving countries.
2001
Level: beginner
After long-time negligence, the Global South and the North-South divide are back on the agenda of development economics again. This book is a neat, accessible introduction into the topic, covering both the current situation and potential remedies from different points of view.
2020
Level: beginner
This course introduces students to political economy and the history of economic thought. We will cover the core ideas in various schools of economic thought, positioning them in the historical and institutional context in which they were developed. In particular, we will cover some economic ideas from the ancient world and the middle ages; the enlightenment; the emergence of and main ideas in classical political economy (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, and others); Marx, Mill, and Keynes; European versus American economic thought through history; the rise of mathematical economics; economic theories around state-managed economies versus socialism; Austrian economics; behavioral economics; and the future of economics.
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.
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.
2020
Level: beginner
With the onset of an economic crisis that has been universally acknowledged since the end of March, two main questions arise: To what extent is the corona pandemic the starting point (or even the cause) of this crisis? And secondly: can the aid programmes that have been adopted prevent a deep and prolonged recession?
2019
Level: advanced
By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
2019
Level: beginner
By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
 
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.
2018
Level: beginner
This text summarizes the content of the 2018 Nobel Prize winner W. Nordhaus. It is extended by some critical perspectives on this topic. The short dossier gives an overview of the most important texts we have read in the climate economics reading group.
2020
Level: beginner
Environmental catastrophe looms large over politics: from the young person’s climate march to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, increasing amounts of political space are devoted to the issue. Central to this debate is the question of whether economic growth inevitably leads to environmental issues such as depleted finite resources and increased waste, disruption of natural cycles and ecosystems, and of course climate change. Growth is the focal point of the de-growth and zero-growth movements who charge that despite efficiency gains, increased GDP always results in increased use of energy and emissions. On the other side of the debate, advocates of continued growth (largely mainstream economists) believe that technological progress and policies can ‘decouple’ growth from emissions.
2021
Level: advanced
From the Dissolution of the Soviet Union to the Conflict in Ukraine The breakup of the Soviet Union led to the creation of new states and territorial conflicts of different levels of intensity Scrutinising the post Soviet period this volume offers explanations for both the frequency and the intensity of …
2019
Level: advanced
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
2018
Level: advanced
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
2020
Level: advanced
This course will introduce key concepts, theories and methods from socioeconomics. The first part of the course, will deal with the main economic actors and how their interactions are governed. Markets are seen as sets of social institutions. Institutions shape how consumers, firms and other economic actors behave. While it is difficult to understand how novelty emerges, we can study the conditions that are conducive to innovation. We will review how economic performance, social progress and human wellbeing are measured and what progress has been made. In the second part of the course, we will study a specific macroeconomic model that accounts for biophysical boundaries and inequality.
2021
Level: beginner
Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis provides a chance to implement economic measures that are also beneficial from environmental and social perspectives. While ‘green’ recovery packages are crucial to support economies tracking a low-carbon transition in the short-term, green measures such as carbon pricing are also key to improving welfare in the long-term. This commentary specifies the need for carbon pricing, outlines its implications for our everyday lives, and explains how it works alongside value-based change in the context of climate action and societal well-being.
 
Complexity economics focuses on interactions and interdependencies between individuals and structures in economic systems. Those are systems of organised complexity. High importance is given to the analysis of networks.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2018
Level: beginner
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.

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