Whether a black swan or a scapegoat, Covid-19 is an extraordinary event. Declared by the WHO as a pandemic, Covid-19 has given birth to the concept of the economic “sudden stop.” We need extraordinary measures to contain it.
This is an overview of (possibly transformative) proposals to address the economic consequences of the corona crisis
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.
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.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
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.
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?
Getting to the policy discussion table is one of the objectives pursued by feminist scholars and advocates. However, some participants in this process have remarked that “you cannot get to the policy discussion table until you have proven that you can crunch the numbers.”
Dependency in Central and Eastern Europe - Self-reliance and the need to move beyond economic growth
In this essay, the author takes a critical perspective on the pursuit of growth as the solution for providing for environmental sustainability and economic stability in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing from the framework of dependency theory and presenting brief insights into European core-periphery relations the author then argues for the implementation of an alternative strategy to development that is built around the concept of self-reliance.
This essay deals with the concepts of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
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.
Towards a post-work future: a necessary agenda to reconcile feminist & ecological concerns with work
In this essay the author outlines the basis for embracing a post-work agenda, rooted in an emancipatory potential from the domination of waged work, which could help answer both feminist and ecological concerns with work.
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.
Is degrowth bad economics To properly answer this question it is essential to understand what economic growth really is The term growth is often associated with an increase in wealth a term loosely defined but according to the degrowth movement economic growth is a narrower concept only describing an increase …
Along with addressing core conceptual issues in defining heterodox economics, we will cover in some detail five heterodox traditions in economics: Marxian Economics, Institutional Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics, Feminist Economics, and Ecologi-cal Economics. In the first class meeting, we discuss the structure and goals of the course, as well as the expectations and requirements from the students. In addition, we will discuss the concept of heterodoxy in economics, along with discussing the concepts and key issues in mainstream and neoclassical economics.
This workshop offers an introduction to Degrowth and Ecological Economics. It starts by surveying the socio-ecological crisis and its pseudo-solutions, and then moves to Ecological Macroeconomics as a relatively recent field of scholarship within Ecological Economics.
For many, Thomas Carlyle's put-down of economics as "the dismal science" rings true--especially in the aftermath of the crash of 2008. But Diane Coyle argues that economics today is more soulful than dismal, a more practical and human science than ever before. The Soulful Science describes the remarkable creative renaissance in economics, how economic thinking is being applied to the paradoxes of everyday life.
Popular anger against the financial system has never been higher, yet the practical workings of the system remain opaque to many people. The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance aims to bridge the gap between protest slogans and practical proposals for reform.
The book criticizes neoclassical climate economics in the tradition of William Nordhaus. It explains why this kind of thinking is misleading and why neoclassical climate economics asks the wrong questions.
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.
A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction Climate Change and Pandemics A plan to save the earth and bring the good life to all In this thrilling and capacious book Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass challenge the inertia of capitalism and the left alike and propose a radical plan …
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
The Gender strategy of the IMF: The way to go towards gender equality or a mere instrumentalisation of feminism?
Due to the IMF’s focus on gender budgeting, this essay will mainly examine its gender budgeting recommendations as an example of its general inclination towards gender issues and its conception of gender equality. What does the IMF’s focus on gender equality really mean from a critical feminist perspective? What are its main objectives? What does it seek to change and to maintain? What concept or idea of women does it follow and what are the underlying theoretical foundations?
A central question in development economics literature is, “Why do countries stay poor?” The key disagreements are whether the lack of economic growth stems from institutions or from geography (Nunn 2009). From an institutional perspective, hostile tariff regimes and commodity price dependencies form a barrier to a sectoral shift that would otherwise lead to economic development in developing countries (Blink and Dorton 2011) (Stiglitz 2006).[i]
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a school of monetary and macroeconomic thought that focuses on the analysis of the monetary and credit system, and in particular on the question of credit creation by the state.
It is perhaps fitting that the seriousness of the coronavirus threat hit most of the Western world around the Ides of March, the traditional day of reckoning of outstanding debts in Ancient Rome. After all, problems and imbalances have accumulated in the Western capitalist system over four decades, ostensibly since it took the neoliberal road out of the 1970s crisis and kept going along it, heedless of the crises and problems it led to.
Peter Bofinger argues that the Modern Monetary Theory gives theoretical justification for bold answers to the corona crisis.
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.
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.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.