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.
Global Value Chains (GVCs) started to play an increasing and key role in the global economy from the 1990s on. The market mechanism in GVCs supports industrialisation in the Global South and under certain conditions product and process upgrading. But GVCs do not lead to the catching-up of countries in the sense of them approaching real GDP per capita levels comparable with developed countries. These arguments are supported by a critical interpretation of the traditional trade theory, the New Trade Theory and specific approaches to explain GVCs, especially different governance structures and power relationships. Several case studies support these arguments. For catching-up, countries need comprehensive horizontal and vertical industrial policy and policies for social coherence. The small number of countries which managed to catch up did this in different variations.
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.
Right-wing populism and market-fundamentalism: Two mutually reinforcing threats to democracy in the 21st century
The article compares market fundamentalism and right-wing populism on the basis of its core patterns of thinking and reasoning. Based on an analysis of important texts in both fields we find many similarities of these two concepts in their "inner images". Thus, we develop a scheme of the similar dual social worlds of right-wing-populism and market fundamentalism and offer some recent examples of market fundamentalism and right-wing populism mutually reinforcing each other or serving as a gateway for each other. We then apply our scheme for the analysis of the recent political developments and its ideological roots in the US under Donald Trump.
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.
How did the coronavirus almost bring down the Global Financial System? What effects does monetary policy have on inequality? What role do Central Banks have in the social-ecological transformation? How could Central Banks tackle climate change? What is Central Bank Digital Currency?
The Money View Symposium was hosted by YSI on 5-7 February, 2021. The Symposium showcased the work of scholars and practitioners that make use of the so-called Money View, ranging from economists to lawyers, politicians and social scientists at large. The symposium aims to illuminate the main tenets of the Money View and to demonstrate its juxtaposition to the mainstream.
This article provides a contextual framework for understanding the gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, social, and economic outcomes. The pandemic has generated massive losses in lives, impacted people’s health, disrupted markets and livelihoods, and created profound reverberations in the home. In 112 countries that reported sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 cases, men showed an overall higher infection rate than women, and an even higher mortality rate. However, women’s relatively high representation in sectors hardest hit by lockdown orders has translated into larger declines in employment for women than men in numerous countries. Evidence also indicates that stay-at-home orders have increased unpaid care workloads, which have fallen disproportionately to women. Further, domestic violence has increased in frequency and severity across countries. The article concludes that policy response strategies to the crisis by women leaders have contributed to more favorable outcomes compared to outcomes in countries led by men.
In this podcast, Nalia Kabeer talks about her work, criticising the way in which Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) is adopted as a sole form of impact assessment. At the beginning of the talk, she briefly describes The Ultra Poor Project (the context of her study), RCTs and its critiques (such as lack of acknowledgement of human agency, heterogeneity, and social context); also, the problem that most RCTs practitioners do not allow for qualitative research conducted in an integrated way as it might cause their studies “being contaminated.”
In this interview Ilya Matveev discusses the social, political, economic, and ideological foundations of the Russian regime, to provide additional context about Russia’s geopolitical goals.
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.
Understanding the financial crisis from four very different economic theories: Social Economics, Institutional Economics, Post Keynesian economics.
Aim of this intensive workshop is 1.) to introduce the participants to the macroeconomic workings of the climate crisis as the background of sustainable finance; 2.) to introduce financial assets with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria attached to them and their markets and important institutional players; 3.) to provide a critical perspective on the current setup of sustainable finance; 4.) and to work on in-depth case studies illustrating the workings on ESG-finance markets, its emitters and traders as well as their macroeconomic implications.
"Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years may have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impacts. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. It then discusses natural gas and highlights the differences between oil and gas. It will also discuss renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and EU energy policy. The course aims at providing students whose main interest is in international relations a background on energy resources, technology and economic realities to allow them to correctly interpret the political impact of current developments. It also aims at providing students, who already have a technical background in energy science or engineering, with the broad global view of energy issues that will allow them to better understand the social, economic and political impact of their technical knowledge."
Why are income inequalities so large and why do they continue to increase in so many countries? What role can minimum wages play in reducing social and economic inequalities? What is a good system of wage bargaining? What constitutes a fair wage?
"This eleven-week course offers a pluralist introduction to political economy and economics. We will examine nine (9) competing schools of thought, each of which offer an original and distinctive illumination of economic and social reality. The course offers a level of learning that would at least match that which is offered by a University. However, you do not need to be connected to a university or to have studied political economy or economics previously to enrol in this particular subject."
This course provides an introduction to the ILO’s Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration). The course uses real cases related to labour and employment issues as examples of how the MNE Declaration is used in practice or as guidance.
Research on consumption from an environmental perspective has exploded since the late 1990s. This important new volume cuts across disciplines to present the latest research in the field. The book is divided into three parts, the first of which addresses the problems of consumption both as a concept and as an economic and social force with high environmental impact.
The third edition of Political Economy: The Contest of Economic Ideas is a fully updated overview of the political economy and its connection with social concerns. This book investigates the main traditions of economic ideas and provides a 'big picture' overview of the analytical tools and value judgements associated with competing schools of economic thought.
This lively introduction to heterodox economics provides a balanced critique of the standard introductory macroeconomic curriculum. In clear and accessible prose, it explains many of the key principles that underlie a variety of alternative theoretical perspectives (including institutionalist economics, radical economics, Post Keynesian economics, feminist economics, ecological economics, Marxist economics, social economics, and socioeconomics).
In a changing world that has been shaken by economic, social, financial, and ecological crises, it becomes increasingly clear that new approaches to economics are needed for both theoretical and empirical research; for applied economics as well as policy advice.
Transition from central planning to a market economy, involving large-scale institutional change and reforms at all levels, is often described as the greatest social science experiment in modern times.
"Despite the rediscovery of the inequality topic by economists as well as other social scientists in recent times, relatively little is known about how economic inequality is mediated to the wider public of ordinary citizens and workers. That is precisely where this book steps in: It draws on a cross-national empirical study to examine how mainstream news media discuss, respond to, and engage with such important and politically sensitive issues and trends.
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the most widely discussed work of economics in recent history, selling millions of copies in dozens of languages. But are its analyses of inequality and economic growth on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas Piketty pushed to the forefront of global conversation? A cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.
Macroeconomics in Context: A European Perspective lays out the principles of macroeconomics in a manner that is thorough, up to date, and relevant to students. With a clear presentation of economic theory throughout, this latest addition to the bestselling "In Context" set of textbooks is written with a specific focus on European data, institutions, and historical events, offering engaging treatment of high-interest topics, including sustainability, Brexit, the euro crisis, and rising inequality. Policy issues are presented in context (historical, institutional, social, political, and ethical), and always with reference to human well-being.
In this sharp intervention, authors Lucí Cavallero and Verónica Gago defiantly develop a feminist understanding of debt, showing its impact on women and members of the LGBTQ+ community and examining the relationship between debt and social reproduction.
How exactly are persisting social inequalities and the operations of modern finance connected? Adam Tooze provides a detailed answer to a still relevant problem by focusing on the Great Financial Crisis and the role of the finance industry in the USA.
This is an important contribution that defends the importance of heterodox economics. It discusses what constitutes heterodox economics as an intellectual, social, and political project, with a range of contributions from leading heterodox thinkers coming from a diversity of theoretical vantage points.
Economics has become a monolithic science, variously described as formalistic and autistic with neoclassical orthodoxy reigning supreme. So argue Dimitris Milonakis and Ben Fine in this new major work of critical recollection.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of work-related gender issues and to enable students to analyze the issues using the tools of economics.
By the end of this course, students should understand the basic economic theories of the gender division of labor in the home and at the workplace, and theories of gender differences in compensation and workforce segregation.
Economic sociology is an entire subfield and one could write an series on it, so I’m going to stick to probably the most prominent economic sociologist and the founder of ‘new economic sociology’, Mark Granovetter.