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265 results

2016
Level: advanced
In spite of the manifold critique about the state of economics in the aftermath of the financial crisis, an even increasing presence of economists and economic experts can be observed in the public sphere during the last years. On the one hand this reflects the still dominant position of economics in the social sciences as well as the sometimes ignorant attitude of economists towards findings of other social sciences. On the other hand this paper shows that the public debate on politico-economic issues among economists is dominated by a specific subgroup of economists, tightly connected to an institutional network of “German neoliberalism”. This group of “public economists” (i) is dominant in public debates even after the financial crisis, (ii) reproduces the formative German economic imaginary of the Social Market Economy in a German neoliberal interpretation and (iii) has a good access to German economic policymaking, rooted in a long history of economic policy advice.
2020
Level: advanced
This paper investigates how the concept of public purpose is used in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). As a common denominator among political scientists, the idea of public purpose is that economic actions should aim at benefiting the majority of the society. However, the concept is to be considered as an ideal of a vague nature, which is highly dependent on societal context and, hence, subject to change over time. MMT stresses that government spending plans should be designed to pursue a certain socio-economic mandate and not to meet any particular financial outcome. The concept of public purpose is heavily used in this theoretical body of thought and often referred to in the context of policy proposals as the ideas of universal job guarantee and banking reform proposals show. MMT scholars use the concept as a pragmatic benchmark against which policies can be assessed. With regards to the definition of public propose, MMT scholars agree that it is dependent on the social-cultural context. Nevertheless, MMT scholars view universal access to material means of survival as universally applicable and in that sense as the lowest possible common denominator.
2013
Level: beginner
The article discusses the state’s influence on innovation through financial support and provides examples how the state could receive a financial share of successful enterprises in order to keep on driving innovation in the future.
2021
Level: advanced
This article applies insights from behavioral economics to consider how the general public may make decisions around whether or not to receive a future COVID-19 vaccine in a context of frequent side effects and preexisting mistrust. Three common cognitive biases shown to influence human decision-making under a behavioral economics framework are considered confirmation bias, negativity bias, and optimism bias.
2023
Level: beginner
The paper gives a comprehensive overview of challenges facing energy transmission and distribution networks in the UK in the wake of the green transition and makes the case for public ownership.
Level: beginner
Want to learn more about behavioural economics and its application to public policy? Take this free course from the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government.
2018
Level: beginner
What is game theory? Game theory is a way of thinking about strategic interactions between people, which makes it a crucial component of economics, political science, international relations, psychology and a variety of other disciplines that deal with the complexities of human interaction in decision making.
2016
Level: beginner
Exploring Economics, an open-source e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
2018
Level: advanced
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.
2019
Level: beginner
Our public services are in dire need of investment. But in the middle of a debate over competing spending plans, isn’t it also time to ask what we want our public services to actually do for us? That’s the view of group of economists and campaigners who are pushing for something called ‘Universal Basic Services’ – a radical expansion of high-quality public services for all to areas like transport, childcare and social care.
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.
Level: advanced
This course teaches basic concepts relevant in political economy. Topics include the contractual nature of the state, public versus private goods, property rights and economic externalities, the logic of collective action and social choice theory. It also refers to the fundamentals of political philosophy, bringing two ideas of liberty into the picture. The relevance and limitations of the economic approach to the study of law and politics are then discussed.
2019
Level: beginner
This course provides future change makers in public and private sectors with a comprehensive overview on the structures and actors that shape markets.
2016
Level: beginner
Caring activities are one central element of feminist economists' analysis – also since in particular unremunerated work is a blind spot in mainstream economics and most other economic paradigms. Those focus on the market sphere: activities are considered as productive and as real labour if they are remunerated and market-intermediated. Goods and services are considered as labour if they create a value which can be traded on the market. Feminist Economics remarks that this perspective creates certain dichotomies and consequent devaluations: unproductive – productive; private – public; unpaid – remunerated OR paid less – well paid; female – male; soft work – hard work; caring – rationality.
2015
Level: advanced
Özlem Onaran analyses the current problems of secular stagnation from a global perspective. At the core of global economic problems is insufficient demand caused by falling wage shares, because most individual countries, and the world as a whole are “wage-led”. Hence a strategy for global growth is to aim at increasing wages and thus the wage share, and the abandonment of policies focusing purely on national competitiveness. Financialization has broken the link between corporate profitability and investment. Reregulation of finance and higher public investment is required in order to crowd in private investment, in this way, reversing the declining trend of potential output growth.
2018
Level: beginner
This essay focuses on the sources of government revenue within the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and proposes the implementation of a regional tax reset through increased taxation and tax reforms, deregulation in the private sector and economic diversification to reduce macroeconomic volatilities caused by the hydrocarbon industry.
2017
Level: beginner
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?
2020
Level: beginner
Whether a black swan or a scapegoat, Covid-19 is an extraordinary event. Declared by the WHO as a pandemic, Covid-19 has given birth to the concept of the economic “sudden stop.” We need extraordinary measures to contain it.
2023
Level: beginner
The policy briefing provides a data-rich overview over the budgets planned for public services in the UK and their connection to inflation expectations. It highlights the fact that inflation might lead to "invisible" cuts to public sector budgets.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2019
Level: advanced
In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital—and lawyers are the keepers of the code.
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.
2015
Level: beginner
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.
Level: beginner
With this calculator you can assess the ecological backpack of your lifestyle. The ecological backpack visualizes the weight of all natural raw materials that are needed for our private consumption behavior. This includes all products and their production, use, and disposal.
2020
Level: advanced
The world is coping with a global disaster, as the new Coronavirus takes a toll on many lost lives and a severe impact on economic activity. To provide a long-run perspective, this column documents the international response to a variety of disasters since 1790. Based on a new comprehensive database on loans extended by governments and central banks, official (sovereign-to-sovereign) international lending is much larger than generally known. Official lending spikes in times of global turmoil, such as wars, financial crises or natural disasters. Indeed, in these periods, official capital flows have repeatedly surpassed total private capital flows in the past two centuries. Wars, in particular, were accompanied by large surges in the volume of official cross-border lending.
2017
Level: advanced
Steven G. Medema is a Research Professor at Duke University. His research focuses on the History of Economic Thought, having published extensively on the issue of social costs of production (conceptualized as externalities in neoclassical economics). In this recorded seminar, he exposes his working paper on the history of the concept of externalities in economic literature, starting from Pigou’s “The Economics of Welfare” (1920), where Pigou makes the case for governmental intervention in the market where there is a divergence between private and social costs or benefits of a productive activity. T
2022
Level: beginner
In this teaching pack, we look at the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk. In particular, we focus on what it means to take a company private and how the deal was financed.
2016
Level: advanced
As a response to ongoing economic, social and environmental crises, many private actors have enlarged their definition of 'value' to include environmental and social elements. Such practices, however, appear incompatible with the current epistemological structure of academic financial discourse.
2021
Level: beginner
Economists occupy leading positions in many different sectors including central and private banks, multinational corporations, the state and the media, as well as serving as policy consultants on everything from health to the environment and security. Power and Influence of Economists explores the interconnected relationship between power, knowledge and influence which has led economics to be both a source and beneficiary of widespread power and influence.
2017
Level: advanced
Professor David Harvey presents a complete visual representation of the flow of capital in all its forms. Similar to the Water Cycle diagrams, Harvey models the economics of production, consumption, human reproduction, labor, private business, and government redistribution.
2015
Level: beginner
In this teaching pack, we look at the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk. In particular, we focus on what it means to take a company private and how the deal was financed.
2022
Level: beginner
In this video, Clara Mattei investigates the function of austerity in relation the stabilization of capitalism as a form of social order build around private property, wage labor and class relations. In order to develop this argument, she situates austerity in the history of World War 1 and its revolutionary aftermath. Zooming in on the politicization of the economy and the associated threat to class society that emerged in the period, she highlights how austerity was a „tool of reaction“ that was successful in curtailing demands for economic democracy and a society free from class oppression.

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