In "The Money Problem, "Morgan Ricks argues for a reform of the American monetary system. Taking up foundational questions of monetary policy, he asks: how would we construct a monetary system if we were starting from scratch? What are the characteristics of a monetary instrument?
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.
This Perspective argues that ergodicity — a foundational concept in equilibrium statistical physics — is wrongly assumed in much of the quantitative economics literature. By evaluating the extent to which dynamical problems can be replaced by probabilistic ones, many economics puzzles become resolvable in a natural and empirically testable fashion.
This panel discusses the role of mathematics and history in economics. Lord Robert Skidelsky and Dr. Ha-Joon Chang advocate for a more prominent role of history and a less prominent role of mathematics within economics. Prof. Steve Pisckhe and Prof. Francesco Caselli defend the dominant role of mathematics within economics. Each of the speakers gives a 10-15 minutes talk advocating his position, before the panel is opened up for Q&A. The discussion is moderated by Prof. James Foreman-Peck.
This blogpost discusses the bias the Economics discipline has towards Africa. It points out how important conferences on issues regarding Africa take place in Western countries at the expense of those based in Africa.
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.
This paper surveys the development of the concept of socialism from the French Revolution to the socialist calculation debate. Karl Marx’s politics of revolutionary socialism led by an empowered proletariat nurtured by capital accumulation envisions socialism as a “top-down” system resting on political institutions, despite Marx’s keen appreciation of the long-period analysis of the organization of social production in the classical political economists. Collectivist thinking in the work of Enrico Barone and Wilfredo Pareto paved the way for the discussion of socialism purely in terms of the allocation of resources. The Soviet experiment abandoned the mixed economy model of the New Economic Policy for a political-bureaucratic administration of production only loosely connected to theoretical concepts of socialism. The socialist calculation debate reductively recast the problem of socialism as a problem of allocation of resources, leading to general equilibrium theory. Friedrich Hayek responded to the socialist calculation debate by shifting the ground of discussion from class relations to information revelation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
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?
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 objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This paper is a product of an online workshop held in Nigeria on the topic Unemployment: Policy Review and Recommendations. It explores the various unemployment policies introduced by the Nigerian Government and analysis how effective they are and suggests some practicable solutions to solving unemployment problems in the country. The workshop was organized by Rethinking Economics The Uploaders (RETU) as part of the project Solving the Major Economic Problem in Nigeria (SMEPN), an output of the Global Pluralist Economics Training (GPET). More details here: https://www.retheuploaders.org/programs/SMEPN
The need for the movement Black Lives Matter and the tragic events that preceded it are the clear manifestation of the problem of discrimination today, which we all intuitively perceive as a poignant socio-economic question of our times.
In this book, the author critically examines a number of socialist proposals that have been put forward since the end of the Cold War. It is shown that although these proposals have many merits, their inability effectively to incorporate the benefits of information technology into their models has limited their ability to solve the problem of socialist construction. The final section of the book proposes an entirely new model of socialist development, based on a "needs profile" that makes it possible to convert the needs of large numbers of people into data that can be used as a guide for resource allocation. This analysis makes it possible to rethink and carefully specify the conditions necessary for the abolition of capital and consequently the requirements for socialist revolution and, ultimately, communist society.
In this book the author develops a new approach to uncertainty in economics, which calls for a fundamental change in the methodology of economics. It provides a comprehensive overview and critical appraisal of the economic theory of uncertainty and shows that uncertainty was originally conceptualized both as an epistemic and an ontological problem.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
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.
In a capitalist system, consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How actors assess uncertainty is a problem that economists have tried to solve through general equilibrium and rational expectations theory. Powerful as these analytical tools are, they underestimate the future's unknowability by assuming that markets, in the aggregate, correctly forecast what is to come.
Economics has long been the domain of the ivory tower, where specialized language and opaque theorems make it inaccessible to most people. That’s a problem.
How exactly are persisting social inequalities and the operations of modern finance connected? Adam Tooze provides a detailed answer to a still relevant problem by focusing on the Great Financial Crisis and the role of the finance industry in the USA.