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45 results

2020
Level: advanced
In the history of the social sciences, few individuals have exerted as much influence as has Jeremy Bentham. His attempt to become “the Newton of morals” has left a marked impression upon the methodology and form of analysis that social sciences like economics and political science have chosen as modus operandi.
 
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.
2014
Level: beginner
In this lecture, Konstantinos Katsikopoulos presents the concept of bounded rationality and contrasts two - as he calls it - cultures of research and analysis within Behavioral Economics: an "idealistic" and a "pragmatic" approach. Thereby, Katsikopoulos discusses amongst others their different assumptions on decision making (utility optimization vs. achievement of a satisfactory outcome), the psychological process as well as the epistemic aim and implications on policy recommendations (nudging vs. education).
2015
Level: beginner
Murphy explains the Austrian understanding of action as purposeful behaviour and the Austrian conception of preferences. Following this the deductive methods that Austrian economics - and Mises in particular - uses are described and contrasted with the empirical methods of other sciences and other economic theories. Lastly, the principle of diminishing marginal utility, which is an example of the successful application of the Austrian method, is presented.
2015
Level: beginner
The principle of diminishing marginal utility is explained referring to the diminishing relevance (or usefulness) of uses that people will direct an extra unit of a homogenous good to. Then the opportunity cost of holding a certain amount of money in relation to the possession of a good is explored. From this assessment, the market process is explained in terms of the "double inequality" of value, where seller and buyer have different subjective values attached to the good in question and to money, which leads to an exchange. If prices are not enabling exchange the laws of supply and demand will make prices converge. The prices of non-consumption goods and services are calculated backwards from consumer prices by entrepreneurs.
1971
Level: advanced
"The aim of this work is two-fold. On the one hand it provides a summary and gives a systematic description of all kinds of criticism of Walrasian general equilibrium theory, utility theory and neo-classical price theory. On the other hand it attempts to elaborate a conceptual framework and to raise some relevant questions of a new, more general economic systems theory.
2020
Level: beginner
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
 
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
 
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.
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
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.
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.
 
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.
2016
Level: beginner
In 18th century Europe figures such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Friedrich List and Jean Baptiste Colbert developed theories regarding international trade, which either embraced free trade seeing it as a positive sum game or recommended more cautious and strategic approaches to trade seeing it as a potential danger and a rivalry and often as a zero-sum game. What about today?
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.
2019
Level: advanced
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.
2019
Level: beginner
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
2021
Level: beginner
Introduction Economics is by necessity a multi paradigmatic science Several theoretical structures exist side by side and each theory can never be more than a partial theory Rothschild 1999 Likening scientific work to the self coordinating invisible hand of the market Michael Polanyi cautioned strongly against centralized attempts to steer …
 
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.
 
Evolutionary economics focuses on economic change. Hence processes of change such as growth, innovation, structural and technological change, as well as economic development in general are analysed. Evolutionary economics often gives emphasis to populations and (sub-)systems.
2020
Level: beginner
Economists like to base their theories on individual decision making. Individuals, the idea goes, have their own interests and preferences, and if we don’t include these in our theory we can’t be sure how people will react to changes in their economic circumstances and policy. While there may be social influences, in an important sense the buck stops with individuals. Understanding how individuals process information to come to decisions about their health, wealth and happiness is crucial. You can count me as someone who thinks that on the whole, this is quite a sensible view.
2003
Level: advanced
The Nobel laureate Amartya Sen´s text analyzes three main figures in social sciences and the relation between them: the Italian economist Piero Sraffa, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the Italian politician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci.
2005
Level: beginner
The Wealth of Ideas traces the history of economic thought, from its prehistory (the Bible, Classical antiquity) to the present day.
2019
Level: beginner
This syllabus provides an overview of the content of the Philosophy and Economics course at the University of Waterloo.
2018
Level: advanced
How can we establish new institutions and practices in order to use fare-free public transport as a beacon for sustainable mobility and a low-carbon lifestyle? The author of this essay elaborates on how practice theory and institutional economics can help to answer this question.
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.
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.
2019
Level: beginner
What are the implications of the politics of "behavioural change"? Alexander Feldmann took a closer look for you on nudging and framing and if this is a legitimate instrument being used by the state to make us behave better in terms of our carbon footprint.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
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.
2017
Level: advanced
Anwar Shaikh seeks in his lectures for alternative explanations for empirically observed macro and microeconomic patterns of economic fluctuations price volatility and economic development In contrast to many other economic theorists he rejects micro foundations based on the idea of utility maximization and economic equilibria and develops a theory of …

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