In this keynote speech, Roger Backhouse gives a historical overview of theories on secular stagnation: how it evolved from a description of the economic situation, especially in the U.S. of the 1930s to an analytical tool and then lost importance until its current revival. Backhouse touches upon the contributions of J. A. Hobson, Alvin Hansen, Evsey Domar and Paul Samuelson.
Approaching the law of nature that determines all forms of economy. The bulk of economic theory addresses the economic process by setting out on a catalogue of aspects, seeking the laws in the aspects and hoping to get together a reliable view of the whole.
Marx’s theory of the falling rate of profit is not only empirically borne out, but the theory he proposed seems to describe accurately how that happens. Furthermore, the whole process is useful for understanding the history of contemporary capitalism.
Markets are the focus in modern economics: when they work, when they don’t and what we can or can’t do about it. There are many ways to study markets and how we do so will inevitably affect our conclusions about them, including policy recommendations which can influence governments and other major organisations. Pluralism can be a vital corrective to enacting real policies based on only one perspective and a plethora of approaches provide alternatives to the canonical view. Although they have differing implications, these approaches share the idea that we should take a historical approach, analysing markets on a case-by-case basis; and they share a faith in the power of both individuals and collectives to overcome the problems encountered when organising economic activity.
Environmental catastrophe looms large over politics: from the young person’s climate march to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, increasing amounts of political space are devoted to the issue. Central to this debate is the question of whether economic growth inevitably leads to environmental issues such as depleted finite resources and increased waste, disruption of natural cycles and ecosystems, and of course climate change. Growth is the focal point of the de-growth and zero-growth movements who charge that despite efficiency gains, increased GDP always results in increased use of energy and emissions. On the other side of the debate, advocates of continued growth (largely mainstream economists) believe that technological progress and policies can ‘decouple’ growth from emissions.
Feminist economics is a key component of the movement for pluralism in economics and one that has, to some extent, been acknowledged by the mainstream of the profession. It seeks to highlight issues which affect women because (it claims) they have not traditionally been recognised in a field dominated by men. On top of this, it seeks to carve out a space for women in the discipline, both for intrinsic reasons of fairness and diversity and because it means that women’s issues are more likely to be highlighted going forward.
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.
The most successful multialternative theories of decision making assume that people consider individual aspects of a choice and proceed via a process of elimination. Amos Tversky was one of the pioneers of this field, but modern decision theorists – most notably Neil Stewart – have moved things forward. At the current stage the theories are able to explain a number of strictly ‘irrational’ but reasonable quirks of human decision making, including various heuristics and biases. Not only this, but eye movements of participants strongly imply that the decision-making process depicted in the theories is an accurate one.
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.
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.
In the pluralist showcase series by Rethinking Economics, Cahal Moran explores non-mainstream ideas in economics and how they are useful for explaining, understanding and predicting things in economics.
Exploring Economics, an open-source e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
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.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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.
Professor Joseph Aldy from Harvard Kennedy School gives us some insights about how economics can set the balance between policymakers, scientists, employers and citizens.
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.
The article pursues the two related questions of how economists pretend to know and why they want to know at all. It is argued that both the economic form of knowledge and the motivation of knowing have undergone a fundamental change during the course of the 20th century. The knowledge of important contemporary economic textbooks has little in common with an objective, decidedly scientifically motivated knowledge. Rather, their contents and forms follow a productive end, aiming at the subjectivity of their readers.
Exploring Economics, an open-access e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
This is an introductory level core course in macroeconomics for those expecting to take further courses in economics. It provides a theoretical and applied approach of introductory macroeconomics, with an international perspective and applications to account for the growing importance of the global economy and the rising openness of economies.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
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?
The premise of this workshop is that we, as knowledge producers - especially within westernized universities (Grosfoguel, 2013), are significantly implicated in neoliberal imaginaries that are often in service of hierarchical, binary, competitive and linear narratives of growth as civilizational progress.
This course will fundamentally ask whether we can, or even should use the word ‘decolonising’ in our pursuit of a better economics?
‘We cannot afford their peace & We cannot bear their wars’: Value, Exploitation, Profitability Crises & ‘Rectification’
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.
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?
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
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.
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.
This text provides an easy to understand introduction to complexity economics for non-specialist audiences such as bachelor's students.
To celebrate the forthcoming book A brief history of Economic Thought From the Mercantilists to the Post Keynesians edited by Louis Philippe Rochon and Hassan Bougrine Edward Elgar Louis Philippe Rochon sat down with celebrated author and scholar Sergio Rossi to discuss his contribution Milton Friedman and the Monetarist School …