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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The goal of the class is to acquire familiarity with recently-published research in alternative macroeconomics with a focus on the distribution of income and wealth, cyclical growth models, and technical change.
This article by Rüdiger Bachmann et.al. discusses the economic effects of a potential cut-off of the German economy from Russian energy imports.
This course offered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on edX provides an introduction in the major econometric tools used in standard Macroeconomics.
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash Networks are ubiquitous in our modern society The World Wide Web that links us to and enables information flows with the rest of the world is the most visible example It is however only one of many networks within which we are situated Our …
This course attempts to explain the role and the importance of the financial system in the global economy. Rather than separating off the financial world from the rest of the economy, financial equilibrium is studied as an extension of economic equilibrium. The course also gives a picture of the kind of thinking and analysis done by hedge funds.
A short course introducing co-operative firms, in the context of the Candian economy where various forms of co-operative make up a significant sector of the economy. The course offers foundational knowledge about co-operatives, explaining what they are and how they operate.
This study offers a unique evolutionary economics perspective on energy and innovation policies in the wider context of the transition to sustainable development. The authors include: - an analysis of the environmental policy implications of evolutionary economics - a critical examination of current Dutch environmental and innovation policies and policy documents - systematic evaluation of three specific energy technologies, namely fuel cells, nuclear fusion and photovoltaic cells, within the evolutionary-economic framework.
This is the first intermediate microeconomics textbook to offer both a theoretical and real-world grounding in the subject. Relying on simple algebraic equations, and developed over years of classroom testing, it covers factually oriented models in addition to the neoclassical paradigm, and goes beyond theoretical analysis to consider practical realities.
This innovative book offers targeted strategies for effectively and efficiently teaching economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It provides professors and other teachers of economics various techniques to engage and retain the interest of students, and challenges them to apply both knowledge and methodological tools to a range of economic problems.
Microeconomics in Context lays out the principles of microeconomics in a manner that is thorough, up to date, and relevant to students. Like its counterpart, Macroeconomics in Context, the book is uniquely attuned to economic realities. The "in Context" books offer affordability, accessible presentation, and engaging coverage of current policy issues from economic inequality and global climate change to taxes.
Despite the important methodological critiques of the mainstream offered by heterodox economics, the dominant research method taught in heterodox programmes remains econometrics.
In this clear and accessible book, an eminent political scientist offers a jargon-free introduction to the market system for all readers, with or without a background in economics
That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does.
Helps students succeed in the principles of economics course. This title offers trademark colloquial approach that focuses on modern economics, institutions, history, and modeling, and is organized around learning objectives to make it easier for students to understand the material and for instructors to build assignments within Connect Plus.
Transition from central planning to a market economy, involving large-scale institutional change and reforms at all levels, is often described as the greatest social science experiment in modern times.
This book provides a blueprint for those interested in teaching from a pluralist perspective, regardless of ideology. It provides educators, policy makers and students with helpful suggestions for implementing pluralism into pedagogy, by offering detailed suggestions and guidelines for incorporating pluralist approaches tailored to specific individual courses.
Ecological economics addresses one of the fundamental flaws in conventional economics--its failure to consider biophysical and social reality in its analyses and equations. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications is an introductory-level textbook that offers a pedagogically complete examination of this dynamic new field.