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216 results

2020
Level: beginner
In this roundtable conversation, Post-Colonialisms Today members, Omar Ghannam, Kareem Megahed and Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, look to policies from early post-independence Africa to tackle issues exacerbated by the COVID- 19 pandemic.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2020
Level: beginner
Post-Colonialisms Today researcher Chafik Ben Rouine looks to Tunisia’s post-independence central banking method to provide insight on what progressive monetary policy can look like.
2020
Level: advanced
Post-Colonialisms Today researchers Kareem Megahed and Omar Ghannam explain how early post-independence Egypt sought economic independence via industrialization.
2013
Level: beginner
In this book, Kalyan Sanyal reviews the traditional notion of capitalism and propounds an original theory of capitalist development in the post-colonial context. In order to substantiate his theory, concepts such as primitive accumulation, governmentality and post-colonial capitalist formation are discussed in detail.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2015
Level: advanced
The principle of effective demand, and the claim of its validity for a monetary production economy in the short and in the long run, is the core of heterodox macroeconomics, as currently found in all the different strands of post-Keynesian economics (Fundamentalists, Kaleckians, Sraffians, Kaldorians, Institutionalists) and also in some strands of neo-Marxian economics, particularly in the monopoly capitalism and underconsumptionist school In this contribution, we will therefore outline the foundations of the principle of effective demand and its relationship with the respective notion of a capitalist or a monetary production economy in the works of Marx, Kalecki and Keynes. Then we will deal with heterodox short-run macroeconomics and it will provide a simple short-run model which is built on the principle of effective demand, as well as on distribution conflict between different social groups (or classes): rentiers, managers and workers. Finally, we will move to the long run and we will review the integration of the principle of effective demand into heterodox/post-Keynesian approaches towards distribution and growth.
2021
Level: beginner
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
2020
Level: beginner
Post-Colonialisms Today researchers Kareem Megahed and Omar Ghannam discuss the importance of industrial policy during the pandemic to improve domestic capacity for manufacturing essential goods.
2020
Level: beginner
Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, provides insight on the history of primary commodity export dependence in Africa, and relates it to the difficulties African governments are facing finding necessary resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020
Level: beginner
Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei, member of the Post-Colonialisms Today Working Group, discusses the role of the state in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021
Level: beginner
In this article, Jihen Chandoul discusses the importance of food sovereignty in Africa, reflecting on the continent’s early post independence movements for self sufficiency.
2020
Level: advanced
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2008
Level: advanced
p>Twenty-first-century economists will have to understand and improve a post-Cold War world in which no single economic theory or system holds the key to human betterment. Heterodox economists have much to contribute to this effort, as a wave of pluralism spawns new lines of research and new dialogues among non-mainstream economists.
2019
Level: beginner
Austerity has been at the center of political controversy following the 2008 financial crisis, invoked by politicians and academics across the political spectrum as the answer to, or cause of, our post-crash economic malaise.
2015
Level: expert
In this keynote lecture during the conference „The Spectre of Stagnation? Europe in the World Economy“, Till van Treek presents research on how changes in income distribution lead to macroeconomic instability and crisis, focusing on currents accounts. Treek presents the relative income hypothesis in contrast to other mainstream and Post-Keynesian explanations. The relative income hypothesis proposes that aggregate demand increases and savings decrease with rising personal income inequality due to upward looking status comparison – but effects depend on the quantile where income inequality increases. Treek points to the importance of accounting for both income and functional income distribution and underlines his arguments with data comparing different pattern in Germany and the U.S.
2015
Level: beginner
Economist and politician Costas Lapavitsas: presents differing theoretical definitions of financialization, namely from Marxist and Post-Keynesian thinkers and compares their approaches. By presenting pattern and features of the economic and financial crisis, he interprets the latter as a crisis of financialization. Lapavitsas emphasizes his arguments by presenting data from the U.S. and Germany on the transformation of business, banks and households.
2016
Level: beginner
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.
2017
Level: beginner
In this talk, Virgil Henry Storr, a Research Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at George Mason University, talks about his research into to post-disaster recovery and the role that social entrepreneurship plays in rebuilding the communities and social networks that get disrupted, or entirely eliminated.
2012
Level: beginner
During his life, Keynes was credited with, amongst other things, with helping to save capitalism from the Great Depression, funding the war against the Nazis and building post-war decades of growth and rising prosperity. And when the global crisis struck in 2008, it was his ideas that the world's leaders turned to help avoid another depression.
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.
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.
2020
Level: advanced
The plumbing of the financial system is coming under strain like never before. On this week’s podcast, we speak with two legendary experts on how the money system works: Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse and Perry Mehrling of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. They explain the extreme level of stress we’re seeing, what the Fed has done to alleviate, what more needs to be done, and what the post-crisis future may look like.
2016
Level: advanced
Since the 1980s, the financial sector and its role have increased significantly. This development is often referred to as financialization. Authors working in the heterodox tradition have raised the question whether the changing role of finance manifests a new era in the history of capitalism. The present article first provides some general discussion on the term financialization and presents some stylized facts which highlight the rise of finance. Then, it proceeds by briefly reviewing the main arguments in the Marxian framework that proposedly lead to crisis. Next, two schools of thought in the Marxian tradition are reviewed which consider financialization as the latest stage of capitalism. They highlight the contradictions imposed by financialization that disrupt the growth process and also stress the fragilities imposed by the new growth regime. The two approaches introduced here are the Social Structure of Accumulation Theory and Monthly Review School. The subsequent part proceeds with the Post-Keynesian theory, first introducing potential destabilizing factors before discussing financialization and the finance-led growth regime. The last section provides a comparative summary. While the basic narrative in all approaches considered here is quite similar, major differences stem from the relationship between neoliberalism and financialization and, moreover, from the question of whether financialization can be considered cause or effect.
2015
Level: advanced
This paper presents an overview of different models which explain financial crises, with the aim of understanding economic developments during and possibly after the Great Recession. In the first part approaches based on efficient markets and rational expectations hypotheses are analyzed, which however do not give any explanation for the occurrence of financial crises and thus cannot suggest any remedies for the present situation. A broad range of theoretical approaches analyzing financial crises from a medium term perspective is then discussed. Within this group we focused on the insights of Marx, Schumpeter, Wicksell, Hayek, Fisher, Keynes, Minsky, and Kindleberger. Subsequently the contributions of the Regulation School, the approach of Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approach, which focus on long-term developments and regime shifts in capitalist development, are presented. International approaches to finance and financial crises are integrated into the analyses. We address the issue of relevance of all these theories for the present crisis and draw some policy implications. The paper has the aim to find out to which extent the different approaches are able to explain the Great Recession, what visions they develop about future development of capitalism and to which extent these different approaches can be synthesized.
Level: beginner
Understanding the financial crisis from four very different economic theories: Social Economics, Institutional Economics, Post Keynesian economics.
2019
Level: advanced
The Routledge Handbook of Heterodox Economics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest work on economic theory and policy from a 'pluralistic' heterodox perspective.

Contributions throughout the Handbook explore different theoretical perspectives including: Marxian-radical political economics; Post Keynesian-Sraffian economics; institutionalist-evolutionary economics; feminist economics; social economics.

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.
2012
Level: advanced
How did the industrialized nations of North America and Europe come to be seen as the appropriate models for post-World War II societies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America? How did the postwar discourse on development actually create the so-called Third World? And what will happen when development ideology collapses? To answer these questions, Arturo Escobar shows how development policies became mechanisms of control that were just as pervasive and effective as their colonial counterparts.

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