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299 results

2015
Level: advanced
In this keynote speech, Roger Backhouse gives a historical overview of theories on secular stagnation: how it evolved from a description of the economic situation, especially in the U.S. of the 1930s to an analytical tool and then lost importance until its current revival. Backhouse touches upon the contributions of J. A. Hobson, Alvin Hansen, Evsey Domar and Paul Samuelson.
2018
Level: advanced
In this article, Rob Hoveman breaks down concepts like historical materialism and materialist analysis that are pivotal to understand Marx. He argues that abstractions are necessary for a concrete analysis of society that in turn should inform political practice.
1985
Level: advanced
Sabel and Zeitlin present the persistence of small firms in Europe against the rise of mass production and modern enterprises Their article starts by analysing how mass production can be considered a historical necessity for the classical view as it is a highly specialized structure where man and machine can …
2019
Level: advanced
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.
2023
Level: expert
The concept of financialisation has undergone a similar career as ‘globalisation’, ‘neoliberalism’ or even ‘capitalism’, in the course of which it changed from the explanandum to the explanans; the process of financialisation is taken for granted, while the concrete historical and empirical causal conditions of its realisation and perpetuation are being moved into the background.
 
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.
 
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.
2020
Level: beginner
The most successful multialternative theories of decision making assume that people consider individual aspects of a choice and proceed via a process of elimination. Amos Tversky was one of the pioneers of this field, but modern decision theorists – most notably Neil Stewart – have moved things forward. At the current stage the theories are able to explain a number of strictly ‘irrational’ but reasonable quirks of human decision making, including various heuristics and biases. Not only this, but eye movements of participants strongly imply that the decision-making process depicted in the theories is an accurate one.
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.
2019
Level: beginner
In this post, Rethinking Economics sets out what it means to decolonise economics education and how we can do that. The article first breaks decolonising down into a "mind-set" and a "process", then applies this process to economics education. It finishes with a reading list and some suggested actions to get you started decolonising economics today.
2009
Level: advanced
Is or has economics ever been the imperial social science? Could or should it ever be so? These are the central concerns of this book. It involves a critical reflection on the process of how economics became the way it is, in terms of a narrow and intolerant orthodoxy, that has, nonetheless, increasingly directed its attention to appropriating the subject matter of other social sciences through the process termed "economics imperialism".
2014
Level: beginner
In this lecture Ben Fine aims at stimulating interest for and explaining the relevance of Marxist Political Economy. Ben Fine dedicates the first half of his comprehensible lecture to the question on how mainstream economics became the way it is by explaining its key concepts and how those evolved during the past 150 years. While critically reflecting those concept he also emphasizes that mainstream economics does not consider historical processes. This is the point of departure on his presentation of the core terms and crucial categories of Marxist Political Economy: e.g. the production process and class relations (Part 1). Part 2 examines the consequences of the capitalist mode of production and its propensity to crises. Ben Fine illustrates this Marxist analysis with the example of the current crisis and explains current conditions for the accumulation of capital.
2014
Level: beginner
In this lecture Ben Fine aims at stimulating interest for and explaining the relevance of Marxist Political Economy. Ben Fine dedicates the first half of his comprehensible lecture to the question on how mainstream economics became the way it is by explaining its key concepts and how those evolved during the past 150 years. While critically reflecting those concept he also emphasizes that mainstream economics does not consider historical processes. This is the point of departure on his presentation of the core terms and crucial categories of Marxist Political Economy: e.g. the production process and class relations (Part 1). Part 2 examines the consequences of the capitalist mode of production and its propensity to crises. Ben Fine illustrates this Marxist analysis with the example of the current crisis and explains current conditions for the accumulation of capital.
2013
Level: beginner
Silvia Federici outlines the content of her book „Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation“. Departing from a critique of the Marxist blindspot on reproductive labour, Federici aims at researching the historical process by which the exploitation of women and the construction of the unproductive housewife has been established. Federici points to the transition from the feudal to the capitalist mode of production and explains how the gender specific prosecution (witch hunt) was linked to necessity of control over bodies and the sexuality in the great transformation. Federici also presents arguments why this research is highly relevant for the analysis of women's situation in current capitalism.
2019
Level: beginner
This Blog Post describes the U.S. federal reserve money system from the perspective of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Therefore it presents a theory of money creation, gives simple examples how this influences the economy and the historical process of why the monetary system of the US has developed this way.
2012
Level: advanced
In this paper the main developments in post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid- 1990s will be reviewed. For this purpose the main differences between heterodox economics in general, including post-Keynesian economics, and orthodox economics will be reiterated and an overview over the strands of post-Keynesian economics, their commonalities and developments since the 1930s will be outlined. This will provide the grounds for touching upon three important areas of development and progress of post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid-1990s: first, the integration of distribution issues and distributional conflict into short- and long-run macroeconomics, both in theoretical and in empirical/applied works; second, the integrated analysis of money, finance and macroeconomics and its application to changing institutional and historical circumstances, like the process of financialisation; and third, the development of full-blown macroeconomic models, providing alternatives to the mainstream 'New Consensus Model' (NCM), and allowing to derive a full macroeconomic policy mix as a more convincing alternative to the one implied and proposed by the mainstream NCM, which has desperately failed in the face of the recent crises.
2009
Level: beginner
The historical situation of low interest rates after the Fed's response to the 2001 crisis alongside with huge foreign money inflow to the US are presented as the historical context in which subprime lending and financial instruments like CDOs and CDS evolved. Then those instruments as well as the concept of leverage are explained briefly.
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.
2018
Level: advanced
Macroeconomics in Context: A European Perspective lays out the principles of macroeconomics in a manner that is thorough, up to date, and relevant to students. With a clear presentation of economic theory throughout, this latest addition to the bestselling "In Context" set of textbooks is written with a specific focus on European data, institutions, and historical events, offering engaging treatment of high-interest topics, including sustainability, Brexit, the euro crisis, and rising inequality. Policy issues are presented in context (historical, institutional, social, political, and ethical), and always with reference to human well-being.
2013
Level: beginner
Professor Jennifer Clapp explains the dynamics of financialization of land and agricultural commodities in Subsaharan Africa. She points to the historical roots of accelerated land speculation and their connection to financial institutions, both generating and reinforcing the process of financialization of African land. Besides talking about roots and dynamics of speculation with land on financial markets, she puts the perspective of scholarly investigation onto the investor's side in discussing guidelines of responsible investment and regulation in the front instead of focussing on the receiving countries.
2024
Level: beginner
This article outlines the fundamental challenges of democratically planned economies and categorises proposed models into six groups, each of which approaches planning and coordination at different levels of authority and between myriad economic units in a particular way, taking into account efficiency as well as democratic principles and environmental and social sustainability. Through a classification system based on decision-making authority and mediation mechanisms, the article provides a framework for understanding and comparing these models. By examining their different approaches, it offers insights into the complexities and potential paths of democratically planned economies in the 21st century.
2017
Level: advanced
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.
2020
Level: beginner
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2019
Level: beginner
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.
2019
Level: beginner
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.
 
Marxian Political Economy focuses on the exploitation of labour by capital. The economy is not conceived as consisting of neutral transactions for exchange and cooperation, but instead as having developed historically out of asymmetric distributions of power, ideology and social conflicts.
2018
Level: beginner
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.
2020
Level: beginner
Markets are the focus in modern economics: when they work, when they don’t and what we can or can’t do about it. There are many ways to study markets and how we do so will inevitably affect our conclusions about them, including policy recommendations which can influence governments and other major organisations. Pluralism can be a vital corrective to enacting real policies based on only one perspective and a plethora of approaches provide alternatives to the canonical view. Although they have differing implications, these approaches share the idea that we should take a historical approach, analysing markets on a case-by-case basis; and they share a faith in the power of both individuals and collectives to overcome the problems encountered when organising economic activity.
2020
Level: beginner
Marx’s theory of the falling rate of profit is not only empirically borne out, but the theory he proposed seems to describe accurately how that happens. Furthermore, the whole process is useful for understanding the history of contemporary capitalism.
2021
Level: beginner
The relationship between race and capitalism is one of the most enduring and controversial historical debates. The concept of racial capitalism offers a way out of this impasse.
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.

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