Complexity economics and institutional economics are complementary approaches to studying the economy. They can pool their methods and foundational theories to explain the mechanisms that underlie economies.
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.
Exploring Economics, an open-access e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
In a changing world that has been shaken by economic, social, financial, and ecological crises, it becomes increasingly clear that new approaches to economics are needed for both theoretical and empirical research; for applied economics as well as policy advice.
Why is it that some countries become rich while others remain poor? Do markets require regulation to function efficiently? If markets offer an efficient way of exchanging goods, why do individuals even create firms?
In this interview, Daron Acemoğlu provides a definition of institutions as rules that govern how individuals interact and speaks about social, political and economic institutions. He furthermore presents his view on bad or good institutions and the importance of the latter. The video is part of a larger interview, where he elaborates his perspective on differing prosperities of states and the relation between growth and democracy.
This lecture was held in the context of the a two day conference called Which pluralism for thinking about how to achieve a more sustainable and resilient economy The practices institutions and system logics of today s economy are not suitable for appropriately addressing fundamental human needs The climate crisis …
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
This article examines the spread of financialization in Germany before the financial crisis. It provides an up-to date overview on the literature on financialization and reviews which of the phenomena typically associated with financialization have emerged in Germany. In particular, the article aims to clarify how the prevailing institutional structure and its changes had contributed to or had countervailed the spread of financialization and how it had shaped the specific German variant of financialization. For this end, it combines the rich literature on Germany's institutional structure with the more macroeconomic oriented literature on financializaton. With the combination of those different perspectives the article sheds light on the reasons for the spread of financialization and the specific forms it has taken in Germany.
Along with addressing core conceptual issues in defining heterodox economics, we will cover in some detail five heterodox traditions in economics: Marxian Economics, Institutional Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics, Feminist Economics, and Ecologi-cal Economics. In the first class meeting, we discuss the structure and goals of the course, as well as the expectations and requirements from the students. In addition, we will discuss the concept of heterodoxy in economics, along with discussing the concepts and key issues in mainstream and neoclassical economics.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
Introduction Economics is by necessity a multi paradigmatic science Several theoretical structures exist side by side and each theory can never be more than a partial theory Rothschild 1999 Likening scientific work to the self coordinating invisible hand of the market Michael Polanyi cautioned strongly against centralized attempts to steer …
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.
In order to address discrimination, we must understand and address its fundamental basis of systemic oppression. Stratification economics goes beyond myopic mainstream conceptualisations of discrimination and recognises the historical, institutional, and structural factors that create and maintain socioeconomic disparities and hierarchies. To critically approach the economics of discrimination, this workshop will focus on stratification economics, a systematic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality (Darity, 2005). Focusing on racial discrimination, we will discuss the core elements of stratification economics, critically evaluate its relevance, and apply these understandings to construct case studies and solutions for change. In our discussions, we will consider an array of topics, including intersecting oppressions, reparative justice, and the role of knowledge production in overcoming injustice and creating a better world.
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.
The core idea of ecological economics is that human economic activity is bound by absolute limits. Interactions between the economy, society and the environment are analysed, while always keeping in mind the goal of a transition towards sustainability.
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "Understanding Economic Models" at the University of Helsinki.
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.
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]
How can we establish new institutions and practices in order to use fare-free public transport as a beacon for sustainable mobility and a low-carbon lifestyle? The author of this essay elaborates on how practice theory and institutional economics can help to answer this question.
After completing the module, participants should be able to have general overview on the theory of commons. They can differentiate between neoclassical, new institutional and social/critical commons theory and can use these theories to assess real life common-pool resource management and commoning pratices.
Irene van Staveren, professor of pluralist development economics, presents her pluralist teaching method for the introductory level. Based on her textbook “Economics After the Crisis: An Introduction to Economics from a Pluralist and Global Perspective” she suggests to focus on real-world problems and pari passu apply economic theories such as Social economics, Institutional economics, Post-Keynesian economics as well as Neoclassical economics without wasting time to single out the latter. Besides pointing out advantages of such a pluralist method Irene illustrates her approach based on interesting topics such as growth or feminist economics.
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.
As seen with the United Nations significant promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the past few years, the issue of global development is of growing concern to many international organizations. As humanity continues to become more interconnected through globalization, the inequalities and injustices experienced by inhabitants of impacted countries becomes increasingly clear. While this issue can be observed in the papers of different types (e.g., different schools of thought) of economists throughout the world, the work of behavioral and complexity economists offer a unique, collaborative perspective on how to frame decisions for individuals in a way that can positively reverberate throughout society and throughout time.
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.