RETHINK
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849 results

2015
Level: advanced
In the interview, Robert Skidelsky discusses the emergence of political influence of a certain school of economic thought and how the success of an economic theory depends on the power relations in the society. He introduces the historical example of Keynesian economics and its replacement by liberal economic theory and policy in the aftermath of the Great Depression, and transfers this historical case to the dominant paradigm of austerity policies in the Europe as response to rising public debts caused by the Financial Crisis. He contrasts austerity policies with a Keynesian approach. Furthermore, he relates the targets of policy to the underlying power structures, for example when not the reduction of unemployment but the protection of financial capital is politically addressed.
2017
Level: beginner
This historic timeline presents economic events, economic thinkers and schools of thought from the 18th century until the 2007/2008 financial and economic crisis with short texts on the respective event or perspective.
2020
Level: beginner
Happiness economics is a branch in behavioral economics, where it explores the economics factors and consequences of happy humans. What makes people happier, and what benefits do we get when people are happier? This dossier introduces you to the field of happiness economics, from a review of economic factors proposed to influence people’s happiness, to a discussion of the economic consequences of happiness, and concludes with economic policy implications of happiness economics.
2019
Level: advanced
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.
2009
Level: advanced
Geographical economics starts from the observation that economic activity is clearly not randomly distributed across space. This revised and updated introduction to geographical economics uses the modern tools of economic theory to explain the who, why and where of the location of economic activity. The text provides an integrated, first-principles introduction to geographical economics for advanced undergraduate students and first-year graduate students, and has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect important developments in the field, including new chapters on alternative core models and policy implications.
2019
Level: beginner
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.
 
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.
Level: beginner
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
2019
Level: advanced
In this essay the author reviews empirical studies in economics that analyze factors behind the rise of nationalist and populist parties in Western countries. He stresses that economic factors (e.g., trade shocks and economic crisis) play a crucial role in the rise of populist parties; however, the discussion of mechanisms driving this trend remains unsatisfying
2020
Level: beginner
Exploring Economics Dossier on the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and the structural crisis of globalization. COVID-19 encounters a structural crisis of globalization and the economic system that drives it, with an uncertain outcome. We asked economists worldwide to share with us their analysis of current events, long-term perspectives and political responses. The dossier will be continuously expanded.
2020
Level: beginner
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]
Level: advanced
This course teaches basic concepts relevant in political economy. Topics include the contractual nature of the state, public versus private goods, property rights and economic externalities, the logic of collective action and social choice theory. It also refers to the fundamentals of political philosophy, bringing two ideas of liberty into the picture. The relevance and limitations of the economic approach to the study of law and politics are then discussed.
2020
Level: beginner
How long the COVID-19 crisis will last, and what its immediate economic costs will be, is anyone's guess. But even if the pandemic's economic impact is contained, it may have already set the stage for a debt meltdown long in the making, starting in many of the Asian emerging and developing economies on the front lines of the outbreak.
2020
Level: beginner
One method of economic modelling that has become increasingly popular in academia, government and the private sector is Agent Based Models, or ABM. These simulate the actions and interactions of thousands or even millions of people to try to understand the economy – for this reason ABM was once described to me as being “like Sim City without the graphics”. One advantage of ABM is that it is flexible, since you can choose how many agents there are (an agent just means some kind of 'economic decision maker' like a firm, consumer, worker or government); how they behave (do they use complicated or simple rules to make decisions?); as well as the environment they act in, then just run the simulation and see what happens as they interact over time.
Level: advanced
Anwar Shaikh seeks in his lectures for alternative explanations for empirically observed macro and microeconomic patterns of economic fluctuations, price volatility, and economic development.
2011
Level: advanced
International Economics, 15e continues to combine rigorous economic analysis with attention to the issues of economic policy that are alive and important today in this field.
2021
Level: beginner
This lecture briefly discusses historic understandings of the limits to infinite economic growth on a finite planet (from John Stuart Mill to Marx). Taking a ecological economics perspective it discusses the metabolism of the economy, the economy as a subsystem of the environment, biophysical limits to growth, and sustainable economic scales.
2009
Level: advanced
As the current economic crisis spreads around the globe questions are being asked about what king of capitalist or post-capitalist economy will follow. There is increasing talk of the need for stringent economic regulation, the need to temper greed and individualism, to make the economy work for human and social development.
1996
Level: advanced
Economic theory is currently at a crossroads, where many leading mainstream economists are calling for a more realistic and practical orientation for economic science. Indeed, many are suggesting that economics should be reconstructed on evolutionary lines.
This book is about the application to economics of evolutionary ideas from biology.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2013
Level: advanced
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.
2011
Level: beginner
Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition exposes what many non-economists may have suspected and a minority of economists have long known: that economic theory is not only unpalatable, but also plain wrong. When the original Debunking Economics was published back in 2001, the market economy seemed invincible, and conventional "neoclassical" economic theory basked in the limelight.
2012
Level: advanced
Economic development is a process of continuous technological innovation and structural transformation. Development thinking is inherently tied to the quest for sustainable growth strategies. This book provides a neoclassical approach for studying the determinants of economic structure and its transformation and draws new insights for development policy.
2015
Level: advanced
Thirty-years of economic transformation has turned China into one of the major players in the global capitalist economy. However, its economic growth has generated rising problems in inequality, alienation, and sustainability with the agrarian crises of the 1990s giving rise to real social outcry to the extent that they became the object of central government policy reformulations.
1999
Level: beginner
Economics: A New Introduction provides a fresh introduction to real economics. Highlighting the complex and changing nature of economic activity, this wide-ranging text employs a pragmatic mix of old and new methods to examine the role of values and theoretical beliefs in economic life and in economists’ understanding of it.
2017
Level: beginner
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.
2015
Level: beginner
The lecture outlines von Mises' understanding of state intervention, arguing that any kind of intervention will necessarily decrease overall welfare, since it restricts the possibility of available voluntary economic transactions thus making people worse off. A taxonomy of different types of interventions, including interventions such as prohibitions, regulations and taxations is developed. Additionally, it is argued that due to the inefficiency and information failure that interventions bring along, unwanted consequences will happen. This in terms leads into a vicious cycle, where the failures of previous intervention must be addressed by new interventions, resulting in economic system that each time becomes closer to a planned economy.
1977
Level: beginner
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.
2015
Level: beginner
Mark Blyth criticises the political inability to solve the persistent economic crisis in Europe against the background of a deflationary environment. Ideological blockades and impotent institutions are the mutually reinforcing causes of European stagnation. The deeper roots lie in the structural change of the economic system since the 1980s, when neoliberalism emerged as hegemonic ideology. This ideology prepared the ground for austerity and resulting deflationary pressures and a strategy of all seeking to export their way out of trouble. Worryingly this is breeding populist and nationalist resentments in Europe.
2014
Level: beginner
In this short Video Silke Helfrich discusses the basics of commons. It’s an introduction into the essence of commons from a perspective stemming from outside the economic discipline that focuses on social practice. Her perception challenges the economic mainstream’s perception of common goods and goes beyond a purely materialistic conceptualisation of commons.
2014
Level: beginner
James Robinson gives in this talk a short introduction into the theory and ideas of his popular book "Why Nations Fail" which was published together with D. Acemoglu in 2012. With many real-life examples he gives a lively description on the fundamentals for economic success from an institutionalist view. According to Robinson, the nature of institutions is a crucial factor for economic success. Whether institutions are inclusive (such as in prosperous economies) or extractive (poor economies) stems from the nation's political process and the distribution of political power.
2020
Level: beginner
The likely global impacts of the economic fallout from the Coronavirus and how we might be better prepared than the 2008 economic crisis to put forward progressive solutions.

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