Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations provided the first, most influential and lasting explanation of the workings of modern economics. But with his focus on "the market" as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life, Smith's concepts only told part of the story, leading to flawed economic models that devalue activities that fall outside of the market's parameters of buying and selling.
The Wealth of Ideas traces the history of economic thought, from its prehistory (the Bible, Classical antiquity) to the present day.
Wealth inequality between Black and white people in the US barely has changed in the last 150 years. In her book "The Color of Money. Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap" Mehrsa Baradaran, analyzes why also Black banks have not successfully changed this and not enabled Black wealth on a broader scale.
From religious leaders to heads of state, everyone is talking about economic inequality. What form can such inequality take in different countries? What impact does it have on society? And why should it matter to you?
The book explores the imperialist tendency inherent in global capitalism by using a rigorous political economy framework.
In this interview, Daron Acemoğlu provides a definition of institutions as rules that govern how individuals interact and speaks about social, political and economic institutions. He furthermore presents his view on bad or good institutions and the importance of the latter. The video is part of a larger interview, where he elaborates his perspective on differing prosperities of states and the relation between growth and democracy.
Public lectures on some Traditional Economic Solutions to poverty in Nigeria, specifically the Igbo Apprentice System, Yoruba Ajo Thrift Savings, and Hausa Integral Communalism.
Stratification economics is defined as a systemic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality. Stratification economics integrates economics, sociology and social psychology to distinctively analyze inequality across groups that are socially differentiated, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, caste, sexuality, religion or any other social differentiation.
The economist Thomas Piketty presents a central argument of his book Capital in the Twenty-First century: if the rate of return to capital generally exceeds an economy's growth rate, this leads to a higher concentration of wealth in the long run. He furthermore shows with historical data how wealth and income inequality increased within the past decades.
In this radio interview, Andrew Sayer first outlines some features of neoliberalism and policies that are associated with it. Then a difference between wealth creation via investment and wealth extraction by means of lending money to those deprived of it or by acquiring property such as real estate or financial assets on the secondary market as absentee owner is established. In this context reference is made to J.A. Hobson's concept of "improperty." Finally, there are some words on the power dynamics associated with capitalism and its relation to climate change.
Galbraith first explores the social darwinism of Herbert Spencer and others that served as apology for the highly unequal distribution of wealth in the US at the end of the 19th century and naturalized differences in wealth by appealing to the concept of natural selection of the fittest. Then some instances of the unscrupulous business practices (i.e. robberies) of the American railroad tycoons and other business magnates are recounted. Lastly, Galbraith lines out some of the arguments of Thorstein Veblen, who delegitimized and ridiculed the business and leisure activities of the rich by putting them in the same category as predatory and ritualized practices of primitive or ancient societies.
In her short contribution, the author questions how the value of goods and services is shaped in current neoclassical teaching. She criticizes the principle of pricing based on marginal income. She discusses what can be called wealth generating, what kind of wealth we need and points out a lack of a value theory.
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.
In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital—and lawyers are the keepers of the code.
This note, by Theresa Neef, Panayiotis Nicolaides, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, and Gabriel Zucman, provides data on wealth inequality in Russia and advocates for a European Asset Registry.
The goal of the class is to acquire familiarity with recently-published research in alternative macroeconomics with a focus on the distribution of income and wealth, cyclical growth models, and technical change.
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.
Draw me the economy gives a short introduction in the measurement of the Gross Domestic Product and Purchasing Power Parity and comments on what needs to be taken into consideration when comparing countries and mentions some shortcomings of GDP as criterion of wealth.
This short video by the Khan Academy presents a classic introduction to economic teaching. Starting with the quote by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations" on the invisible hand, it shows how economics deals with the question of the allocation of scarce resources and shortly presents different questions addressed by microeconomics and macroeconomics. It further makes reference to questions of simplification in mathematical models.
In this short video Peter Reich illustrates seven aspects of the state of the US economy. He provides suggestions on how to to get started to move towards a more fair distribution of wealth.
An analysis of the modern neoliberal world, its characteristics, flaws and planetary boundaries aiming to end new economic politics and support a global redistribution of power, wealth and roles. In this online lecture, economist and Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK. Costas Lapavitsas, explains the limitations of the neoliberal market in creating financial stability and growth in both, developing and developed countries.
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.
Mainstream economics almost completely ignores the role power plays in determining economic outcomes, which means it can only provide partial explanations of the distribution of wealth and income, and of the problems associated with inequality and poverty.
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'.
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.
Dependency in Central and Eastern Europe - Self-reliance and the need to move beyond economic growth
In this essay, the author takes a critical perspective on the pursuit of growth as the solution for providing for environmental sustainability and economic stability in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing from the framework of dependency theory and presenting brief insights into European core-periphery relations the author then argues for the implementation of an alternative strategy to development that is built around the concept of self-reliance.
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 module is designed to first present some of the main schools of thought from a historical and methodological perspective. Each week we explore and critically assess the main tenants of each school of thought. In the second part of the module we link history of economic thought and methodology to a specific and contemporary economic question. The second part allows you to engage with current economic issues with an awareness of methodology and methodological differences and with some knowledge of the history of economics.
Marxian Political Economy focuses on the exploitation of labour by capital. The economy is not conceived as consisting of neutral transactions for exchange and cooperation, but instead as having developed historically out of asymmetric distributions of power, ideology and social conflicts.
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?
Mariana Mazzucato explains how we lost sight of what value means and why we need to rethink our current financial systems so capitalism can be steered toward a bold, innovative and sustainable future that works for all of us.
Reflecting his own concerns about the contribution economics could make to the betterment of society, Eli Ginzberg published this study of Smith's humanitarian views on commerce, industrialism, and labor. Written for his doctoral degree at Columbia University, and originally published as The House of Adam Smith, the book is divided into two parts.