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.
This essay suggests to bring together two aspects of economic thought which so far have developed largely separately: degrowth and feminist economics. In this strive, the concept of care work and its role in feminist economics will be introduced and the downsides of the commodification of care work will be discussed. Subsequently, contributions to the discussion on the (re)valuation of care work will be taken into account.
This essay draws on several analyses on the gender impact of the recession and of austerity policies, in which authors acknowledge a threat to women’s labour market integration and a potential backlash to traditional gender labour structures. We contribute to that literature by asking whether recession and austerity convey a gender effect on educational attainment. Our aim in this essay is to portray the likely effects of austerity measures on gender equality with a focus on women’s participation in tertiary education and to hypothesize the implications of these scenarios for labour market effects, to be tested in future empirical research.
Due to the economic crisis of 2008/2009, households faced drastic decreases in their incomes, the availability of jobs. Additionally, the structure of the labour market changed, while austerity measures and public spending cuts left households with less support and safeguards provided by the state. How have these developments affected the burden of unpaid labour and what influence did this have on gender relations?
In this essay, the principle of capital accumulation, as well as the idea of homo economicus as the basis of the growth model, are located and analyzed from a feminist perspective. The sufficiency approach is presented as an alternative to these two economic logics.
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.
This is an overview of (possibly transformative) proposals to address the economic consequences of the corona crisis
Michael Kalecki famously remarked “I have found out what economics is; it is the science of confusing stocks with flows”. Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models were developed precisely to address this kind of confusion. The basic intuition of SFC models is that the economy is built up as a set of intersecting balance sheets, where transactions between entities are called flows and the value of the assets/liabilities they hold are called stocks. Wages are a flow; bank deposits are a stock, and confusing the two directly is a category error. In this edition of the pluralist showcase I will first describe the logic of SFC models – which is worth exploring in depth – before discussing empirical calibration and applications of the models. Warning that there is a little more maths in this post than usual (i.e. some), but you should be able to skip those parts and still easily get the picture.
One of the pluralist theories which has gained prominence following the 2008 financial crisis is Hyman Minsky and his Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH). Minsky was unique in viewing balance sheets and financial flows as the primary components of capitalist economies, and his focus on the financial system meant he was well-equipped for foresee a crisis much like 2008. Although he died long before 2008 his framework anticipated many of the processes which led to the crash, particularly increased risk-taking and financial innovation which would outstrip the abilities of regulators and central banks to manage the system.
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.
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.
How countries achieve long-term GDP growth is up there with the most important topics in economics. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas put it “the consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” Ricardo Hausmann et al take a refreshing approach to this question in their Atlas of Economic Complexity. They argue a country’s growth depends on the complexity of its economy: it must have a diverse economy which produces a wide variety of products, including ones that cannot be produced much elsewhere. The Atlas goes into detail on exactly what complexity means, how it fits the data, and what this implies for development. Below I will offer a summary of their arguments, including some cool data visualisations.
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.
In both economics textbooks and public perceptions central banks are a fact of life. On the wall of my A-level economics classroom there was the Will Rogers quote “there have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking”, summarising how many economists view the institution. There is a widespread belief that there is something different about money which calls for a central authority to manage its operation, a view shared even by staunch free marketeers such as Milton Friedman. This belief is not without justification, since money underpins every transaction in a way that apples do not, but we should always be careful not to take existing institutions for granted and central banking is no exception. In this post I will look at the idea of private or free banking, where banks compete (and cooperate) to issue their own currency.
Exploring Economics, an open-source e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
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.
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.
If there’s one method economists have neglected the most, it’s qualitative research. Whereas economists favour mathematical models and statistics, qualitative research seeks to understand the world through intensive investigation of particular circumstances, which usually entails interviewing people directly about their experiences. While this may sound simple to quantitative types the style, purpose, context, and interpretation of an interview can vary widely. Because of this variety, I have written a longer post than usual on this topic rather than doing it a disservice. Having said that, examples of qualitative research in economics are sadly scant enough that it doesn’t warrant multiple posts. In this post I will introduce qualitative research in general with nods to several applications including the study of firm behaviour, race, Austrian economics, and health economics. More than usual I will utilise block quotes, which I feel is in the spirit of the topic.
The premise of this workshop is that we, as knowledge producers - especially within westernized universities (Grosfoguel, 2013), are significantly implicated in neoliberal imaginaries that are often in service of hierarchical, binary, competitive and linear narratives of growth as civilizational progress.
From the perspective of mainstream theory the effectiveness of monetary policy in bringing down inflation depends on two very important equations the aggregate demand equation and the infamous Phillips Curve Without these it becomes more difficult or rather impossible for central banks to carry out monetary policy and obtain the …
This course will fundamentally ask whether we can, or even should use the word ‘decolonising’ in our pursuit of a better economics?
Introduction to Pluralism in Economics - From an Economics-without-Capitalism to Markets-without-Capitalism
Prof. Yanis Varoufakis talks in this introductory lecture about the future of our economy and the current state of economics with special regard to pluralism in economics.
This talk is an exploration of a feminist centred world, where women's labour, women's energy, women's contributions to the economy are not a side event but the main event.
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.
The world is regularly shaken by crises some are bigger others are smaller in scope Local turmoil military conflicts commodity scarcity bank runs health threats the history of mankind can be written as a history of crises Three major global crises occurred in the last fifty years alone the oil …
Mainstream economic narratives notably the concept of comparative advantage trade theory which assumes the equal balance of power between parties are deployed to support the merits of Global Value Chains that the global integration via trade creates mutual gains for both developed and developing countries This narrative is advanced in …
This course will survey contemporary heterodox approaches to economic research, both from a microeconomic and a macroeconomic perspective. Topics will be treated from a general, critical, and mathematical standpoint.
The postcolonial critique of Economics is one of the sharpest and most comprehensive indictments of the discipline highlighting the discipline s limited treatment of power and culture and the incompatibility of the discipline s theoretical frameworks and predictions with the contexts of most formerly colonised territories This interview of Prof …
The article summarizes the effects that the war in Ukraine, the resulting economic sanctions as well as associated financial turbulences have for cryptocurrencies and their role in the global financial system.
A free online course at Masters-level will enable you to understand the past, present and future role of money in society.
Aim of this intensive workshop is to understand macroeconomic workings of climate change as as the background of sustainable finance; to analyse financial assets with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria attached to them and their markets and important institutional players; to develop a critical perspective on the current setup of sustainable finance; and to synthesise this knowledge by applying it on in-depth case studies.
After completing the module, participants should be able to understand the economic consequences of gender inequality. They should be able to explain the contradictions between capital and care, analyze the labor market with a gender perspective and develop the ability to describe phenomena such as public policies taking into account "gender" as a category of analysis.