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.
Jason Smith takes a stab at blind faith in the efficiency of the price mechanism to provide market information. To do so, he calls upon Information Theory and Generative Adversarial Networks to argue the price mechanism is faulty and skewed towards supply.
"Why information grows" by Cesar Hidalgo and the atlas of economic complexity. César visits the RSA to present a new view of the relationship between the individual and collective knowledge, linking information theory, economics and biology...
Historical Alternatives to Mass Production: Politics, Markets and Technology in Nineteenth-Century Industrialization
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 …
Derek Neal writes that economists must analyze public education policy in the same way they analyze other procurement problems. He shows how standard tools from economics research speak directly to issues in education. For mastering the models and tools that economists of education should use in their work, there is no better resource available.--
Paul Mason presents the main arguments of his book PostCapitalism. First, he argues that capitalism runs out of its capability to adapt to crises and second states that information technology challenges the capitalist system. In a nutshell, he argues that a society which fully exploits information technologies can't include concepts such as intellectual property, free market or private ownership. This has far-reaching consequences for the organisation of wages and work. The talk stops at minute 37.30.
While many are unsatisfied with capitalism and critique it in highly sophisticated ways, there are few concrete proposals for a socialist mode of production that could replace the capitalist one. Daniel E. Saros has developed such a proposal in his book "Information Technology and Socialist Construction – The End of Capital and the Transition to Socialism" which we discuss at length over the course of two episodes.
How do people make decisions? There is a class of models in psychology which seek to answer this question but have received scant attention in economics despite some clear empirical successes. In a previous post I discussed one of these, Decision by Sampling, and this post will look at another: the so-called Fast and Frugal heuristics pioneered by the German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer. Here the individual seeks out sufficient information to make a reasonable decision. They are ‘fast’ because they do not require massive computational effort to make a decision so can be done in seconds, and they are ‘frugal’ because they use as little information as possible to make the decision effectively.
The website contains a vast amount of information on the history of economic thought. It presents thinkers, their main works (and links to those works) and schools of thought which are sorted by political economy schools, neoclassical schools, alternative schools as well as thematic schools. „This web site concentrates information and resources on the history of economic thought, from the ancient times until the modern day. It is designed for students, researchers and the general public, who are interested in learning about economics from a historical perspective.“
The outbreak of COVID-19 has substantially accelerated the digitalization of the economy. Yet, this unprecedented growth of digital technology brought novel challenges to the labour market. Rise in income inequalities and precarious working conditions or polarization of jobs. In this essay, we try to assess what tools to use to counter these trends.
The notion that the demand and supply side are independent is a key feature of textbook undergraduate economics and of modern macroeconomic models. Economic output is thought to be constrained by the productive capabilities of the economy - the ‘supply-side' - through technology, demographics and capital investment. In the short run a boost in demand may increase GDP and employment due to frictions such as sticky wages, but over the long-term successive rises in demand without corresponding improvements on the supply side can only create inflation as the economy reaches capacity. In this post I will explore the alternative idea of demand-led growth, where an increase in demand can translate into long-run supply side gains. This theory is most commonly associated with post-Keynesian economics, though it has been increasingly recognised in the mainstream literature.
As the global economic landscape evolves, demographics shift, inequality expands, climate change gets worse and technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is struggling to stay relevant.
"Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years may have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impacts. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. It then discusses natural gas and highlights the differences between oil and gas. It will also discuss renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and EU energy policy. The course aims at providing students whose main interest is in international relations a background on energy resources, technology and economic realities to allow them to correctly interpret the political impact of current developments. It also aims at providing students, who already have a technical background in energy science or engineering, with the broad global view of energy issues that will allow them to better understand the social, economic and political impact of their technical knowledge."
Big challenges lie ahead for our society: increased automation of work, and the threat of catastrophic climate change. But so, too, are the huge possibilities presented by new technology and better ways of organising our economy in the wake of neoliberalism's failure.
Examine what would happen if we were to deploy blockchain technology at the sovereign level and use it to create a decentralized cashless economy. This book explains how finance and economics work today, and how the convergence of various technologies related to the financial sector can help us find solutions to problems, such as excessive debt creation, banks getting too big to fail, and shadow banking.
Three dominant forces worldwide are driving change today in our financial markets: competition, technology and regulation. But their collective impact in reshaping the markets, though they may be viewed individually as desirable or well-intentioned, is producing challenging results that are difficult to predict, hard to control and not easy to understand.
In a span of around 12 weeks, the course covers a wide range of topics including agent-based modeling, networks, dynamic, chaos, information, fractals, cooperation models and scaling in biology and society. The course acts as a perfect beginner level introduction spanning a wide range of topics in the field of complexity.
In this course you'll learn about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. The topics you'll learn about include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks.
Information and skills required to make more sustainable choices every day.
Health Economics traditionally involves two distinct strands. One focuses on the application of core neoclassical economic theories of the firm, the consumer and the market to health-seeking behaviour and other health issues. It suggests a role for government intervention only in the case of specific market failures (for example externalities, asymmetric information, moral hazard, and public goods) that distort market outcomes. The second strand is evaluation techniques, used to assess the cost effectiveness of competing health interventions.
Ricardo Hausmann says the new industrial policy is an information revelation process about the state of possibilities, the nature of the obstacles and figuring out whether you can sort out the obstacles so that these new activities can take over.
When we have to make a decision, we consider all the pros and cons, try to gather a lot of information and estimate what consequences this decision might have. And then we make an (at least somewhat) rational decision. Or do we?
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
Economists like to base their theories on individual decision making. Individuals, the idea goes, have their own interests and preferences, and if we don’t include these in our theory we can’t be sure how people will react to changes in their economic circumstances and policy. While there may be social influences, in an important sense the buck stops with individuals. Understanding how individuals process information to come to decisions about their health, wealth and happiness is crucial. You can count me as someone who thinks that on the whole, this is quite a sensible view.
"Thought provoking and fresh - this book challenges how we think about economics.”
Gillian Tett, Financial Times
For further information about recent publicity events and media coverage for Rethinking Capitalism please visit http://marianamazzucato.com/rethinking-capitalism/
Western capitalism is in crisis.
Written by the Nobel Prize winners in Economics Robert Shiller and George Akerlof, this book shows how deception and manipulation play a big role in the economic behavior of individuals, as well as showing how the assumption of "perfect information" is far away from the truth. Through both quantitative data and stories of how to reduce this noxious phenomenon, the authors paint a pretty different picture of how markets really works in a hyper-communicative scenario like nowadays.
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.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
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.
Towards a post-work future: a necessary agenda to reconcile feminist & ecological concerns with work
In this essay the author outlines the basis for embracing a post-work agenda, rooted in an emancipatory potential from the domination of waged work, which could help answer both feminist and ecological concerns with work.
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