The Wealth of Ideas traces the history of economic thought, from its prehistory (the Bible, Classical antiquity) to the present day.
How to promote alternative macroeconomic ideas: Are there limits to running with the (mainstream) pack?
The first keynote speech was given by Sebastian Dullien, current spokesperson of FMM and who is one of the most well-known German economists in applied European economics and a very active contributor to the pluralist debate. Sebastian discusses the strategy of “running with the pack” by using orthodox methods to disseminate pluralist economics and politics. Referring to diverse examples Sebastian addresses the pros and cons of “running with the pack” and proposes alternative approaches to achieve more pluralism in economics.
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.
Institutional economics focuses on the role of social institutions in terms of laws or contracts, but also those of social norms and patterns of human behaviour that are connected to the social organisation of production, distribution and consumption in the economy.
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
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
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.
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.
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.
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
The article pursues the two related questions of how economists pretend to know and why they want to know at all. It is argued that both the economic form of knowledge and the motivation of knowing have undergone a fundamental change during the course of the 20th century. The knowledge of important contemporary economic textbooks has little in common with an objective, decidedly scientifically motivated knowledge. Rather, their contents and forms follow a productive end, aiming at the subjectivity of their readers.
The module is designed to first present some of the main schools of thought from a historical and methodological perspective. Each week we explore and critically assess the main tenants of each school of thought. In the second part of the module we link history of economic thought and methodology to a specific and contemporary economic question. The second part allows you to engage with current economic issues with an awareness of methodology and methodological differences and with some knowledge of the history of economics.
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.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
Pluralism includes mainstream economics. Our campaign for pluralism, including this series, have generally focused on ideas outside the mainstream on the basis that it gets plenty of attention already so we want to spend our time exposing people to alternatives. Nevertheless, mainstream ideas deserve some attention. On top of this, a curious feature of modern economics education is that some of the best ideas from mainstream economics are not even taught to undergraduates! During this series I will explore such ideas, starting today with the market construction technique known as ‘matching’.
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.
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.
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
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.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
Evolutionary economics focuses on economic change. Hence processes of change such as growth, innovation, structural and technological change, as well as economic development in general are analysed. Evolutionary economics often gives emphasis to populations and (sub-)systems.
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is rapidly spreading around the world. The real economy is simultaneously hit by a supply shock and a demand shock by the spread of coronavirus. Such a twin shock is a rare phenomenon in recent economic history.
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.
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "Understanding Economic Models" at the University of Helsinki.
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.
The third edition of Political Economy: The Contest of Economic Ideas is a fully updated overview of the political economy and its connection with social concerns. This book investigates the main traditions of economic ideas and provides a 'big picture' overview of the analytical tools and value judgements associated with competing schools of economic thought.
This chapter discusses the role of gender in economic relations, processes, and outcomes. Gender differences in economic outcomes such as labor force participation and wages have received growing attention from economists in the last several decades – a positive and much needed development in economic thinking.
The Great Recession 2.0 is unfolding before our very eyes. It is still in its early phase. But dynamics have been set in motion that are not easily stopped, or even slowed. If the virus effect were resolved by early summer—as some politicians wishfully believe—the economic dynamics set in motion would still continue. The US and global economies have been seriously ‘wounded’ and will not recover easily or soon. Those who believe it will be a ‘V-shape’ recovery are deluding themselves. Economists among them should know better but are among the most confused. They only need to look at historical parallels to convince themselves otherwise.
Stratification economics is defined as a systemic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality. Stratification economics integrates economics, sociology and social psychology to distinctively analyze inequality across groups that are socially differentiated, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, caste, sexuality, religion or any other social differentiation.
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.