We collect selected high quality working papers from the leading international universities and research institutes in the field of plural and heterodox economics. The working papers in our selection present economic schools of thought and debates in a first-class way and give an insight into the latest research.
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.
What is the working class under present circumstances and in particular in urban lives? David Harvey explains how the concept of the working class is still suitable for the current organization of work – even if working conditions changed, now being more service-oriented and diffused. Harvey further discusses how this diffused working class can organize via urban neighbourhoods.
Most mainstream neoclassical economists completely failed to anticipate the crisis which broke in 2007 and 2008. There is however a long tradition of economic analysis which emphasises how growth in a capitalist economy leads to an accumulation of tensions and results in periodic crises. This paper first reviews the work of Karl Marx who was one of the first writers to incorporate an analysis of periodic crisis in his analysis of capitalist accumulation. The paper then considers the approach of various subsequent Marxian writers, most of whom locate periodic cyclical crises within the framework of longer-term phases of capitalist development, the most recent of which is generally seen as having begun in the 1980s. The paper also looks at the analyses of Thorstein Veblen and Wesley Claire Mitchell, two US institutionalist economists who stressed the role of finance and its contribution to generating periodic crises, and the Italian Circuitist writers who stress the problematic challenge of ensuring that bank advances to productive enterprises can successfully be repaid.
"Yuliya Yurchenko is a senior lecturer and researcher in political economy at University of Greenwich. She is currently in Ukraine on an extraordinary leave. And while she writes that she is, for the moment, in relative safety, that could change any moment. Being a Ukrainian, an activist and an academic, Yuliya traveled to Ukraine on Feb 19, 2022 as part of a fact-finding and solidarity mission with a number of MPs, trade unionists and journalists. The goal, she says, of this mission is to connect with civil society organizations, trade unions, activists and politicians, and “to express direct, cross-border solidarity from the UK working class to the Ukrainian working class.”
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.
Steven G. Medema is a Research Professor at Duke University. His research focuses on the History of Economic Thought, having published extensively on the issue of social costs of production (conceptualized as externalities in neoclassical economics). In this recorded seminar, he exposes his working paper on the history of the concept of externalities in economic literature, starting from Pigou’s “The Economics of Welfare” (1920), where Pigou makes the case for governmental intervention in the market where there is a divergence between private and social costs or benefits of a productive activity. T
The present working paper is dedicated to fill a void in the degrowth literature related to the aspect of planning to achieve post-growth models of societies. The authors propose a new framework that focuses on non-market forms of planning and propose multi-level planning institutions to mediate the local level with society-wide and global institutions.
This paper presents an overview of different models which explain financial crises, with the aim of understanding economic developments during and possibly after the Great Recession. In the first part approaches based on efficient markets and rational expectations hypotheses are analyzed, which however do not give any explanation for the occurrence of financial crises and thus cannot suggest any remedies for the present situation. A broad range of theoretical approaches analyzing financial crises from a medium term perspective is then discussed. Within this group we focused on the insights of Marx, Schumpeter, Wicksell, Hayek, Fisher, Keynes, Minsky, and Kindleberger. Subsequently the contributions of the Regulation School, the approach of Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approach, which focus on long-term developments and regime shifts in capitalist development, are presented. International approaches to finance and financial crises are integrated into the analyses. We address the issue of relevance of all these theories for the present crisis and draw some policy implications. The paper has the aim to find out to which extent the different approaches are able to explain the Great Recession, what visions they develop about future development of capitalism and to which extent these different approaches can be synthesized.
Modern authors have identified a variety of striking economic patterns, most importantly those involving the distribution of incomes and profit rates. In recent times, the econophysics literature has demonstrated that bottom incomes follow an exponential distribution, top incomes follow a Pareto, profit rates display a tent-shaped distribution. This paper is concerned with the theory underlying various explanations of these phenomena. Traditional econophysics relies on energy-conserving “particle collision” models in which simulation is often used to derive a stationary distribution. Those in the Jaynesian tradition rely on entropy maximization, subject to certain constraints, to infer the final distribution. This paper argues that economic phenomena should be derived as results of explicit economic processes. For instance, the entry and exit process motivated by supply decisions of firms underlies the drift-diffusion form of wage, interest and profit rates arbitrage. These processes give rise to stationary distributions that turn out to be also entropy maximizing. In arbitrage approach, entropy maximization is a result. In the Jaynesian approaches, entropy maximization is the means.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has substantially accelerated the digitalization of the economy. Yet, this unprecedented growth of digital technology brought novel challenges to the labour market. Rise in income inequalities and precarious working conditions or polarization of jobs. In this essay, we try to assess what tools to use to counter these trends.
Since the 1980s, the financial sector and its role have increased significantly. This development is often referred to as financialization. Authors working in the heterodox tradition have raised the question whether the changing role of finance manifests a new era in the history of capitalism. The present article first provides some general discussion on the term financialization and presents some stylized facts which highlight the rise of finance. Then, it proceeds by briefly reviewing the main arguments in the Marxian framework that proposedly lead to crisis. Next, two schools of thought in the Marxian tradition are reviewed which consider financialization as the latest stage of capitalism. They highlight the contradictions imposed by financialization that disrupt the growth process and also stress the fragilities imposed by the new growth regime. The two approaches introduced here are the Social Structure of Accumulation Theory and Monthly Review School. The subsequent part proceeds with the Post-Keynesian theory, first introducing potential destabilizing factors before discussing financialization and the finance-led growth regime. The last section provides a comparative summary. While the basic narrative in all approaches considered here is quite similar, major differences stem from the relationship between neoliberalism and financialization and, moreover, from the question of whether financialization can be considered cause or effect.
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.
On July 2020 ZOE-Institute published a unique platform for transformative policymaking: Sustainable Prosperity. Building on insights from new economic thinking the platform provides knowledge about ideas, arguments and procedures that support effective promotion of political change. It aims to strengthen change makers in public policy institutions, who are working on an ambitious green and just transition. As such, it provides convincing arguments and policy ideas to overcome the reliance of economic policy on GDP growth
hether it's working for free in exchange for 'experience', enduring poor treatment in the name of being 'part of the family', or clocking serious overtime for a good cause, more and more of us are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do work we enjoy. Work Won't Love You Back examines how we all bought into this 'labour of love' myth: the idea that certain work is not really work, and should be done for the sake of passion rather than pay.
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.
Even if men were perceived as the main protagonists of the Greek crisis, the crisis had a deep impact on disadvantaged groups, in particular migrant women working as domestic labourers. The debate presents the particular impact on migrant women of the downturn and furthermore discusses how migrant struggles and other emancipatory movements impacted the politics of crisis. The first minutes of the video are in German, but the moderator switches to English.
"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.
Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, discusses the role of the state in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jihen Chandoul, a member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, discusses the impact of import-dependency on African food supply chains since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, provides insight on the history of primary commodity export dependence in Africa, and relates it to the difficulties African governments are facing finding necessary resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
This course provides a simple introduction to problems that social scientists are working on (e.g. racial disparities, inequality and climate change) in a manner that does not require any prior background in Economics or Statistics.
Over the last decade, the world's largest corporations - from The Coca Cola Company to Amazon, Apple to Unilever - have taken up the cause of combatting modern slavery. Yet, by most measures, across many sectors and regions, severe labour exploitation continues to soar. Corporate social responsibility is not working. Why?
At the time of his death in 1950, Joseph Schumpeter was working on his monumantal History of Economic Analysis. Unprecedented in scope, the book was to provide a complete history of economic theory from Ancient Greece to the end of the Second World War. A major contribution to the history of ideas as well as to economics, History of Economic Analysis rapidly gained a reputation as a unique and classic work.
When Santa Fe Institute Scientists first started working on economics more than thirty years ago, many of their insights, approaches, and tools were considered beyond heterodox. These once-disparaged approaches included network economics, agents of limited rationality, and institutional evolution—all topics that are now increasingly considered mainstream.
The volume, released by YSI’s Economic Development Working Group, comprises interviews with 13 scholars from around the world who express a variety of viewpoints on the meaning and relevance of dependency theory in today’s context.
Capitalism is dissolving boundaries - not only in the sense of ever-expanding global trade flows, but also in the concrete everyday working lives of individuals. What implications does this have for our understanding of freedom, work and borders?
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.
An essay of the writing workshop on contemporary issues in the field of Nigerian economics: Labour and all the dynamics, such as laws, mobility, gender participation, regulation etc., that are associated with it cements the need for this paper which seeks to objectively review, analyse, and if deemed necessary, give plausible recommendations.
What made the false assumption that saving the economy at all cost during a pandemic so popular? This paper discusses different pathways through the COVID-19 pandemic at national and international level, and their consequences on the health of citizens and their economies.
This paper investigates how the concept of public purpose is used in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). As a common denominator among political scientists, the idea of public purpose is that economic actions should aim at benefiting the majority of the society. However, the concept is to be considered as an ideal of a vague nature, which is highly dependent on societal context and, hence, subject to change over time. MMT stresses that government spending plans should be designed to pursue a certain socio-economic mandate and not to meet any particular financial outcome. The concept of public purpose is heavily used in this theoretical body of thought and often referred to in the context of policy proposals as the ideas of universal job guarantee and banking reform proposals show. MMT scholars use the concept as a pragmatic benchmark against which policies can be assessed. With regards to the definition of public propose, MMT scholars agree that it is dependent on the social-cultural context. Nevertheless, MMT scholars view universal access to material means of survival as universally applicable and in that sense as the lowest possible common denominator.