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.
This is an overview of (possibly transformative) proposals to address the economic consequences of the corona crisis
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.
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.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
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.
Capitalism is dissolving boundaries - not only in the sense of ever-expanding global trade flows, but also in the concrete everyday working lives of individuals. What implications does this have for our understanding of freedom, work and borders?
Professor Joseph Aldy from Harvard Kennedy School gives us some insights about how economics can set the balance between policymakers, scientists, employers and citizens.
Getting to the policy discussion table is one of the objectives pursued by feminist scholars and advocates. However, some participants in this process have remarked that “you cannot get to the policy discussion table until you have proven that you can crunch the numbers.”
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
This essay suggests to bring together two aspects of economic thought which so far have developed largely separately: degrowth and feminist economics. In this strive, the concept of care work and its role in feminist economics will be introduced and the downsides of the commodification of care work will be discussed. Subsequently, contributions to the discussion on the (re)valuation of care work will be taken into account.
On July 2020 ZOE-Institute published a unique platform for transformative policymaking: Sustainable Prosperity. Building on insights from new economic thinking the platform provides knowledge about ideas, arguments and procedures that support effective promotion of political change. It aims to strengthen change makers in public policy institutions, who are working on an ambitious green and just transition. As such, it provides convincing arguments and policy ideas to overcome the reliance of economic policy on GDP growth
The core idea of ecological economics is that human economic activity is bound by absolute limits. Interactions between the economy, society and the environment are analysed, while always keeping in mind the goal of a transition towards sustainability.
This syllabus provides an overview of the content of the Philosophy of Economics course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In this podcast, Laura Basu focuses on how capitalist markets and nation-states perpetuate structural racism.
The Gender strategy of the IMF: The way to go towards gender equality or a mere instrumentalisation of feminism?
Due to the IMF’s focus on gender budgeting, this essay will mainly examine its gender budgeting recommendations as an example of its general inclination towards gender issues and its conception of gender equality. What does the IMF’s focus on gender equality really mean from a critical feminist perspective? What are its main objectives? What does it seek to change and to maintain? What concept or idea of women does it follow and what are the underlying theoretical foundations?
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.
A central question in development economics literature is, “Why do countries stay poor?” The key disagreements are whether the lack of economic growth stems from institutions or from geography (Nunn 2009). From an institutional perspective, hostile tariff regimes and commodity price dependencies form a barrier to a sectoral shift that would otherwise lead to economic development in developing countries (Blink and Dorton 2011) (Stiglitz 2006).[i]
Here we look at the effect of the 2008 Climate Change Act passed in Parliament in the United Kingdom as an effort to curb emissions in all sectors. The Act aside from setting goals to become a low-carbon economy sets up an independent committee on Climate Change to ensure the implementation of policies to comply with the ultimate goal of 80% reduction in total emissions in 2050. I make use of the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) to create a comparative case study in which the creation of a synthetic UK serves as a counterfactual where the treatment never occurred (Cunningham, 2018).
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a school of monetary and macroeconomic thought that focuses on the analysis of the monetary and credit system, and in particular on the question of credit creation by the state.
It is perhaps fitting that the seriousness of the coronavirus threat hit most of the Western world around the Ides of March, the traditional day of reckoning of outstanding debts in Ancient Rome. After all, problems and imbalances have accumulated in the Western capitalist system over four decades, ostensibly since it took the neoliberal road out of the 1970s crisis and kept going along it, heedless of the crises and problems it led to.
Peter Bofinger argues that the Modern Monetary Theory gives theoretical justification for bold answers to the corona crisis.
Steve Keen analyses how mainstream economics fails when confronted with the covid-19-pandemic. Mainstream economics has propagated the dismantling of the state and the globalization of production - both of which make the crisis now so devastating. More fundamentally, mainstream economics deals with market systems, when what is needed to limit the virus’s spread is a command system.
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.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
As the Covid-19 fueled economic downturn begins to intensify this winter, an extended study of the Italian cooperative sector’s historical resilience in times of crisis can serve as a learning experience for other countries seeking to create policies that foster more stable economies, with job security, care for marginalized communities and adequate counter-cyclical policies. Particularly, the Italian cooperative sector’s contributions to three aspects should be noted in closing. Firstly, the innovative phenomenon of cooperative enterprises has contributed to social inclusion of immigrant communities, the activation of youth, the unemployed and people with disabilities, a true compensation for both a market and state failure. Secondly, they have contributed to a reduction in income and wealth inequalities at a time when the issue of inequality is of global significance. Thirdly, the Italian cooperative movement has helped local communities revitalize in the face of demographic shifts and rendered them more resilient to the ravages of globalization. Each of these in their own right is a remarkable achievement.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
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.
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep structural rifts in modern capitalist economies. It has exposed and exacerbated the long-lasting systemic inequalities in income, wealth, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of economic success across a variety of dimensions including class, gender, race, regions, and nations. This workshop explores the causes of economic inequality in contemporary capitalist economies and its consequences for the economy and society in the post-pandemic reality, as well as what steps can be taken to alleviate economic inequality in the future. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary insights, the workshop encourages you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality and aims to challenge the way in which the issue is typically approached in economics.
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.
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.
Microeconomics in Context lays out the principles of microeconomics in a manner that is thorough, up to date, and relevant to students. Like its counterpart, Macroeconomics in Context, the book is uniquely attuned to economic realities. The "in Context" books offer affordability, accessible presentation, and engaging coverage of current policy issues from economic inequality and global climate change to taxes.