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117 results

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.
2012
Level: beginner
Renowned scholars elaborate a critique on neoclassical economics and how it was unable to predict and even favoured the financial crisis. They refer to DSGE models, equilibrium theory and rational agents – a brief insight in the critique on neoclassic economics.
2019
Level: advanced
As opposed to the conventional over-simplified assumption of self-interested individuals, strong evidence points towards the presence of heterogeneous other-regarding preferences in agents. Incorporating social preferences – specifically, trust and reciprocity - and recognizing the non-constancy of these preferences across individuals can help models better represent the reality.
2020
Level: expert
When Santa Fe Institute Scientists first started working on economics more than thirty years ago, many of their insights, approaches, and tools were considered beyond heterodox. These once-disparaged approaches included network economics, agents of limited rationality, and institutional evolution—all topics that are now increasingly considered mainstream.
2016
Level: advanced
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Get ready to change the way you think about economics.

Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans--predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth--and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.

2011
Level: beginner
Based on a critique on econometric and DSGE models (in particular in the context of the financial crisis), Doyne Farmer presents his current research programme that aims at building an agent-based model of the financial and economic crisis. It models heterogeneous agents and from there simulates the economy, firstly for the housing market. The interview gives a short insight in the research programme.
2018
Level: beginner
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to follow through on new year’s resolutions, such as to exercise more or to start saving more money towards retirement? The agent that most traditional economic models are based on would not struggle to keep up these resolutions. These agents are referred to as homo economicus.
2012
Level: advanced
This book challenges the mainstream paradigm, based on the inter-temporal optimisation of welfare by individual agents. It introduces a methodology for studying how institutions create flows of income, expenditure and production together with stocks of assets and liabilities, thereby determining how whole economies evolve through time.
2015
Level: beginner
Peter Boettke, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, talks about the history and the main methodological and epistemological tenets of the Austrian school. He argues that good economics is the mainline tradition of "squaring rational choice with the invisible hand theorem through institutional analysis".
2017
Level: beginner
When we have to make a decision, we consider all the pros and cons, try to gather a lot of information and estimate what consequences this decision might have. And then we make an (at least somewhat) rational decision. Or do we?
2009
Level: beginner
In this short video behavioural economist, Dan Aerily talks about how our cognitive illusions will trick us into believing something that is otherwise deemed irrational by the homo economicus. It raises and probes into some very interesting questions that defy the neoclassical rational behaviour.
2016
Level: advanced
In a capitalist system, consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How actors assess uncertainty is a problem that economists have tried to solve through general equilibrium and rational expectations theory. Powerful as these analytical tools are, they underestimate the future's unknowability by assuming that markets, in the aggregate, correctly forecast what is to come.
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.
1998
Level: advanced
What is James Tobin's main contribution? What is Arrow's impossibility theorem? Which economists have made the most significant contribution to rational expectations? These and countless other questions are resolved in this eloquently written unique book by Mark Blaug, one of the most prominent historians of economic thought.
1991
Level: advanced
Traditionally, economists have attributed consistency and rational calculation to the action of ‘economic man’. In a powerful challenge to orthodox thinking, Geoffrey Hodgson maintains that social institutions play a central and essential role in molding preferences and guiding action: institutions are regarded as enabling action rather than merely providing constraints.
 
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.
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?
 
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.
 
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
2016
Level: beginner
This chapter discusses the role of gender in economic relations, processes, and outcomes. Gender differences in economic outcomes such as labor force participation and wages have received growing attention from economists in the last several decades – a positive and much needed development in economic thinking.
2017
Level: advanced
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.
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.
2017
Level: beginner
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.
2021
Level: beginner
The usual background and distinctions between complexity and neoclassical economics are presented Neoclassical economics deals with perfectly rational representative agents this creates states of equilibrium On the other hand complexity economics relaxes these assumptions to deal with responsive agents in an uncertain dynamic environment this creates states of disequilibrium More …
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.
 
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.
2016
Level: beginner
A review of: [1] Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian [2] Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld [3] Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
2018
Level: beginner
This syllabus provides an overview of the contents of the course "Understanding Economic Models" at the University of Helsinki.
 
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.
2019
Level: beginner
This syllabus provides an overview of the content of the Philosophy and Economics course at the University of Waterloo.
Level: advanced
Popularized by movies such as A Beautiful Mind game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational and irrational agents Over four weeks of lectures this advanced course considers how to design interactions between agents in order to achieve good social outcomes Three main topics are covered social …
 
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.

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