RETHINK
ECONOMICS
RETHINK
ECONOMICS
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64 results

2010
Level: beginner
The chi-square distribution is used to test a hypothesis. Therefore, expected values are related to observed values using a chi-square distribution. Then using p-value tables the hypothesis is tested at a 5% significance level.
2011
Level: beginner
The definition of a chi-square distribution is given. Chi-square is defined as the sum of random normally distributed variables (mean=0, variance=s.d.=1). The number of added squared variables is equal to the degrees of freedom. With more degrees of freedom the probability of larger chi-square values is increased.
Level: beginner
This course provides a simple introduction to problems that social scientists are working on (e.g. racial disparities, inequality and climate change) in a manner that does not require any prior background in Economics or Statistics.
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.
2017
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.

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.
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.
2022
Level: beginner
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.
2018
Level: beginner
This text summarizes the content of the 2018 Nobel Prize winner W. Nordhaus. It is extended by some critical perspectives on this topic. The short dossier gives an overview of the most important texts we have read in the climate economics reading group.
2012
More-is-better ideals such as these have long shaped our vision of rationality. Yet humans and other animals typically rely on simple heuristics to solve adaptive problems, focusing on one or a few important cues and ignoring the rest, and shortcutting computation rather than striving for as much as possible.
2020
What influence do changes in tax policy or state decisions on expenditure have on economic growth? For decades, this question has been controversially debated.
2021
Level: beginner
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.
Level: beginner
This course describes Bayesian statistics in which one s inferences about parameters or hypotheses are updated as evidence accumulates You will learn to use Bayes rule to transform prior probabilities into posterior probabilities and be introduced to the underlying theory and perspective of the Bayesian paradigm The course will apply …
2021
Level: beginner
This workshop offers an introduction to Degrowth and Ecological Economics. It starts by surveying the socio-ecological crisis and its pseudo-solutions, and then moves to Ecological Macroeconomics as a relatively recent field of scholarship within Ecological Economics.
2018
Level: beginner
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.
2019
Level: beginner
What are the implications of the politics of "behavioural change"? Alexander Feldmann took a closer look for you on nudging and framing and if this is a legitimate instrument being used by the state to make us behave better in terms of our carbon footprint.
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
With the onset of an economic crisis that has been universally acknowledged since the end of March, two main questions arise: To what extent is the corona pandemic the starting point (or even the cause) of this crisis? And secondly: can the aid programmes that have been adopted prevent a deep and prolonged recession?
2020
Level: beginner
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.
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.
2015
Level: beginner
Jason Collins explains how his evolutionary approach to decision making relates to other approaches of behaviour This piece therefore not only serves as a good introduction to this evolutionary approach but also serves as a great introduction to these other approaches of behaviour namely neoclassical perfect rationality which involves mainly …

Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
This statistics and data analysis course will introduce you to the essential notions of probability and statistics We will cover techniques in modern data analysis estimation regression and econometrics prediction experimental design randomized control trials and A B testing machine learning and data visualization We will illustrate these concepts with …
Game theory is the standard quantitative tool for analyzing the interactions of multiple decision makers. Its applications extend to economics, biology, engineering and even cyber security.
2009
Level: beginner
This course attempts to explain the role and the importance of the financial system in the global economy. Rather than separating off the financial world from the rest of the economy, financial equilibrium is studied as an extension of economic equilibrium. The course also gives a picture of the kind of thinking and analysis done by hedge funds.
2017
In this book the author develops a new approach to uncertainty in economics, which calls for a fundamental change in the methodology of economics. It provides a comprehensive overview and critical appraisal of the economic theory of uncertainty and shows that uncertainty was originally conceptualized both as an epistemic and an ontological problem.
2018
Level: beginner
Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 12-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This essay will explore ecological economics as an alternative lens through which to approach forest conservation and the acceleration of climate change.
2019
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
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.
2020