RETHINK
ECONOMICS
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96 results

2000
Level: advanced
Karl William Kapp (1910-1976) was one of the forefathers of Ecological Economics. Influenced namely by the Frankfurt School, Institutionalist Economics and Pragmatist Philosophy, he contributed to debates on the social costs of production, economic planning, sustainable development and epistemology. I
2020
Level: beginner
This book highlights the political economy of wealth and income inequality in Latin America. The author segments his analysis to separately evaluate the economic, social, and political costs of inequality building on country case studies. It draws well-contextualized lessons from the Latin American experience that is important to consider for other regional contexts, especially for social policies of nations within the 'Middle Income Trap'.
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.
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
The first day of the workshop is intended to initiate students to the foundational concepts of ecological economics. Ecological economics is an ecological critique of economics, applying the energetics of life to the study of the economy. It also investigates the social distribution of environmental costs and benefits. It does so by deconstructing concepts that are taken for granted like “nature” or “the economy”, excavating their ideological origins.
2013
Level: beginner
Stiglitz answers the question why globalization and world trade has not delivered on its promise of increased well being as much as classical economists thought, by pointing to the power asymmetries: firstly, between industrialized nations and developing nations and secondly, between special corporate interest and social interests. In his analysis, developed countries and MNCs were able to extract the benefits, while shifting the costs (i.e. pollution) to states and communities with lesser power. Amongst many other historical examples the pharmaceutical and the mining industry are discussed to some length.
2021
Level: advanced
After a brief illustration of sovereign green bonds’ features, this paper describes the market evolution and identifies the main benefits and costs for sovereign issuers. The financial performance of these securities is then analysed.
2017
Level: advanced
The 2007–08 credit crisis and the long recession that followed brutally exposed the economic and social costs of financialization. Understanding what lay behind these events, the rise of “fictitious capital” and its opaque logic, is crucial to grasping the social and political conditions under which we live. Yet, for most people, the operations of the financial system remain shrouded in mystery.
2020
Level: beginner
How long the COVID-19 crisis will last, and what its immediate economic costs will be, is anyone's guess. But even if the pandemic's economic impact is contained, it may have already set the stage for a debt meltdown long in the making, starting in many of the Asian emerging and developing economies on the front lines of the outbreak.
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 last 15 years have seen extensive research into ecosystem service valuation (ESV), spurred by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 (Baveye, Baveye & Gowdy, 2016). Ecosystem services are defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, p.V). For example, ecosystems provide the service of sequestering carbon which helps regulate the climate. Valuation means giving ecosystems or their services a monetary price, for example researchers have estimated that the carbon sequestration services of the Mediterranean Sea is between 100 and 1500 million euros per year. The idea of ESV was a response to the overuse of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, allegedly due to their undervaluation and exclusion from the monetary economy. ESV can be used (1) for policy decision-making, for example allocating funding to a reforestation project (2) for setting payments to people who increase ecosystem services, for example a farmer increasing the organic carbon content of their soil, and (3) for determining fees for people who degrade ecosystem services, for example a company that causes deforestation.
 
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.
 
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.
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.
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
Exploring Economics, an open-source e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
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: 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.
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?
2020
Level: beginner
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is rapidly spreading around the world. The real economy is simultaneously hit by a supply shock and a demand shock by the spread of coronavirus. Such a twin shock is a rare phenomenon in recent economic history.
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
2020
Level: advanced
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
2021
Level: beginner
What made the false assumption that saving the economy at all cost during a pandemic so popular? This paper discusses different pathways through the COVID-19 pandemic at national and international level, and their consequences on the health of citizens and their economies.
Level: beginner
An essay of the writing workshop on contemporary issues in the field of Nigerian economics: The adverse effect of climate change is overwhelming, not just in Nigeria but globally. Global warming is the result of hostile human activities that have impacted the environment negatively. This is the principal variable the government should tackle through practical innovations such as the acceptable implementation of Adaptation Policies and also through the adequate implementation of environmental tax. These will enhance pro-environmental behaviour which is fit for socio-political and economic activities for sustainability.
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: beginner
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.
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
This course provides future change makers in public and private sectors with a comprehensive overview on the structures and actors that shape markets.
2013
Level: advanced
Some economic events are so major and unsettling that they “change everything.” Such is the case with the financial crisis that started in the summer of 2007 and is still a drag on the world economy. Yet enough time has now elapsed for economists to consider questions that run deeper than the usual focus on the immediate causes and consequences of the crisis.
2012
Level: advanced
Economic development is a process of continuous technological innovation and structural transformation. Development thinking is inherently tied to the quest for sustainable growth strategies. This book provides a neoclassical approach for studying the determinants of economic structure and its transformation and draws new insights for development policy.
2019
Level: advanced
Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski examine the apparent contradiction between the demise of real-existing socialism and the rise of large corporations engaging in planning every day, making a strong argument that these planning efforts should be transformed to now fulfil the needs of the people.
2020
Level: beginner
This is an overview of (possibly transformative) proposals to address the economic consequences of the corona crisis

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