As seen with the United Nations significant promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the past few years, the issue of global development is of growing concern to many international organizations. As humanity continues to become more interconnected through globalization, the inequalities and injustices experienced by inhabitants of impacted countries becomes increasingly clear. While this issue can be observed in the papers of different types (e.g., different schools of thought) of economists throughout the world, the work of behavioral and complexity economists offer a unique, collaborative perspective on how to frame decisions for individuals in a way that can positively reverberate throughout society and throughout time.
Approaching the law of nature that determines all forms of economy. The bulk of economic theory addresses the economic process by setting out on a catalogue of aspects, seeking the laws in the aspects and hoping to get together a reliable view of the whole.
How can we establish new institutions and practices in order to use fare-free public transport as a beacon for sustainable mobility and a low-carbon lifestyle? The author of this essay elaborates on how practice theory and institutional economics can help to answer this question.
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.
Trade disputes are usually understood as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, but as Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis show in this book, they are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices to serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and ordinary retirees.
This classic text offers a broader intellectual foundation than traditional principles textbooks. It introduces students to both traditional economic views and their progressive critique.
"Specialise!" is the advice often given by career advisers, school teachers and the like. David Epstein takes the opposite position: In an ever more specialised, highly complex world, it pays to have good old-fashioned broad common knowledge in as many areas as you take interest in, both in terms of intellectual curiosity and professional success. To have a decent grasp of various aspects of life means to be able to discern the links between them, thus developing a better understanding of how our world works and what drives events as they unfold.
Gender Development and Globalization is the leading primer on global feminist economics and development. Gender is a development issue because social considerations are not easily incorporated into institutions such as policies, regulations, markets and organizations. This process is often referred to as the mainstreaming of gender in development institutions.
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.
Multimedia dossier on unpaid labor (featuring the UK statistics office unpaid work calculator), migrant care labor and feminist political economy more generally.
Politics as supermarket? Or how current policy design changes the relationship between the state and its citizens
What are the implications of the politics of "behavioural change"? Alexander Feldmann took a closer look for you on nudging and framing and if this is a legitimate instrument being used by the state to make us behave better in terms of our carbon footprint.
Here we look at the effect of the 2008 Climate Change Act passed in Parliament in the United Kingdom as an effort to curb emissions in all sectors. The Act aside from setting goals to become a low-carbon economy sets up an independent committee on Climate Change to ensure the implementation of policies to comply with the ultimate goal of 80% reduction in total emissions in 2050. I make use of the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) to create a comparative case study in which the creation of a synthetic UK serves as a counterfactual where the treatment never occurred (Cunningham, 2018).
Firms are the primary places where economic activity takes place in modern capitalist economies: they are where most stuff is produced; where many of us spend 40 hours a week; and where big decisions are made about how to allocate resources. Establishing how they work is hugely important because it helps us to understand patterns of production and consumption, including how firms will react to changes in economic conditions and policy. And a well-established literature – led by post-Keynesians and institutionalists – holds that the best way to determine how firms work is to…wait for it...ask firms how they work. This a clearly sensible proposition that is contested in economics for some reason, but we’ll ignore the controversy here and just explore the theory that springs from this approach.
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.
John K. Galbraith tells the economic history of a couple of economies (mostly UK, US and to a lesser extent Germany) from the end of the first world war until the Bretton Woods conference. He also provides a biography of John M. Keynes and outlines some central ideas of Keynes such as the possibility of an underemployment equilibrium. Galbraith complements the historical remarks by the biographical experiences he made in economic management (and in engaging with Keynes) serving as deputy head of the Office for Price administration during the second world war.
The article is a formal response to the debate between the economists Diane Coyle and Howard Reed, whose articles were published online by Prospect magazine in 2018. Then, it was taken by Rethinking Economics as representative for the vision of the global network which advocates for changing economics curricula. In fact, it clearly solves some issues within the debate around pluralism by explaining its common misunderstandings among academics and its true - often mislead - meaning.
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".
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.
Economic sociology is an entire subfield and one could write an series on it, so I’m going to stick to probably the most prominent economic sociologist and the founder of ‘new economic sociology’, Mark Granovetter.
Happy International Women s Day This International Women s Day 2018 is an opportune moment to highlight prominent scholars of Feminist Economics As a subdiscipline of economics Feminist Economics analyzes the interrelationship between gender and the economy often critiquing inequities and injustices perpetuated by mainstream paradigms Work of this nature …
Exploring Economics, an open-source e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
"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.
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.
From the two premises that (1) economies are complex systems and (2) the accumulation of knowledge about reality is desirable, I derive the conclusion that pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. To substantiate this claim an epistemological framework of how scholars study their objects of inquiry and relate their models to reality is discussed. Furthermore, it is argued that given the current institutions of our scientific system, economics self-organizes towards a state of scientific unity. Since such a state is epistemologically inferior to a state of plurality, critical intervention is desirable.
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.
Right-wing populism and market-fundamentalism: Two mutually reinforcing threats to democracy in the 21st century
The article compares market fundamentalism and right-wing populism on the basis of its core patterns of thinking and reasoning. Based on an analysis of important texts in both fields we find many similarities of these two concepts in their "inner images". Thus, we develop a scheme of the similar dual social worlds of right-wing-populism and market fundamentalism and offer some recent examples of market fundamentalism and right-wing populism mutually reinforcing each other or serving as a gateway for each other. We then apply our scheme for the analysis of the recent political developments and its ideological roots in the US under Donald Trump.
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.
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.
This collection of videos offers a short introduction to ecological economics and its main differences with respect to environmental economics.
Beyond Growth is a collection of educational materials offering a reflection on growth. It was created as a joint project of the associations Fairbindung e. V. and Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, both based in Germany. The page provides learning materials and methods to stimulate thinking about the conditions of our current economy as well as possible alternatives.