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162 results

2018
Level: beginner
Keynes, following the tradition of Marx, argued that all values are created by labour and profits. However, functional income distribution between wages and profits is explained differently. In Marx's explanation of functional income distribution, wages are given as a basket of goods needed for the reproduction needs of the working class. Profits are then the remaining part of income creation. Given the capital stock, the profit rate can be calculated. The paper shows that Marx's explanation of functional income distribution has several theoretical and practical shortcomings. The Keynesian paradigm in the tradition of the original Keynes provides an alternative. Here the profit rate is given by processes in the financial market, and, among other things, by the interest rate. Monopolistic or oligopolistic structures, following the tradition of Kalecki, can also influence the profit rate. In addition, financialisation can push up the profit rate. Given the capital stock the consumption basket of workers depends on the level of productivity and the profit rate explained in a Keynesian and Kaleckian way.
2021
Level: beginner
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.
2011
Level: beginner
The definition of a chi-square distribution is given. Chi-square is defined as the sum of random normally distributed variables (mean=0, variance=s.d.=1). The number of added squared variables is equal to the degrees of freedom. With more degrees of freedom the probability of larger chi-square values is increased.
2019
Level: advanced
Modern authors have identified a variety of striking economic patterns, most importantly those involving the distribution of incomes and profit rates. In recent times, the econophysics literature has demonstrated that bottom incomes follow an exponential distribution, top incomes follow a Pareto, profit rates display a tent-shaped distribution. This paper is concerned with the theory underlying various explanations of these phenomena. Traditional econophysics relies on energy-conserving “particle collision” models in which simulation is often used to derive a stationary distribution. Those in the Jaynesian tradition rely on entropy maximization, subject to certain constraints, to infer the final distribution. This paper argues that economic phenomena should be derived as results of explicit economic processes. For instance, the entry and exit process motivated by supply decisions of firms underlies the drift-diffusion form of wage, interest and profit rates arbitrage. These processes give rise to stationary distributions that turn out to be also entropy maximizing. In arbitrage approach, entropy maximization is a result. In the Jaynesian approaches, entropy maximization is the means.
2007
Level: advanced
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.
2005
Level: beginner
The Wealth of Ideas traces the history of economic thought, from its prehistory (the Bible, Classical antiquity) to the present day.
Level: beginner
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?
2019
Level: advanced
The book explores the imperialist tendency inherent in global capitalism by using a rigorous political economy framework.
2017
Level: advanced
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.
2009
Level: beginner
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.
2021
Level: expert
Public lectures on some Traditional Economic Solutions to poverty in Nigeria, specifically the Igbo Apprentice System, Yoruba Ajo Thrift Savings, and Hausa Integral Communalism.
Level: beginner
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.
2021
Level: beginner
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.
2015
Level: advanced
The principle of effective demand, and the claim of its validity for a monetary production economy in the short and in the long run, is the core of heterodox macroeconomics, as currently found in all the different strands of post-Keynesian economics (Fundamentalists, Kaleckians, Sraffians, Kaldorians, Institutionalists) and also in some strands of neo-Marxian economics, particularly in the monopoly capitalism and underconsumptionist school In this contribution, we will therefore outline the foundations of the principle of effective demand and its relationship with the respective notion of a capitalist or a monetary production economy in the works of Marx, Kalecki and Keynes. Then we will deal with heterodox short-run macroeconomics and it will provide a simple short-run model which is built on the principle of effective demand, as well as on distribution conflict between different social groups (or classes): rentiers, managers and workers. Finally, we will move to the long run and we will review the integration of the principle of effective demand into heterodox/post-Keynesian approaches towards distribution and growth.
2010
Level: beginner
The chi-square distribution is used to test a hypothesis. Therefore, expected values are related to observed values using a chi-square distribution. Then using p-value tables the hypothesis is tested at a 5% significance level.
2015
Level: expert
In this keynote lecture during the conference „The Spectre of Stagnation? Europe in the World Economy“, Till van Treek presents research on how changes in income distribution lead to macroeconomic instability and crisis, focusing on currents accounts. Treek presents the relative income hypothesis in contrast to other mainstream and Post-Keynesian explanations. The relative income hypothesis proposes that aggregate demand increases and savings decrease with rising personal income inequality due to upward looking status comparison – but effects depend on the quantile where income inequality increases. Treek points to the importance of accounting for both income and functional income distribution and underlines his arguments with data comparing different pattern in Germany and the U.S.
2016
Level: advanced
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.
2014
Level: advanced
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.
2015
Level: beginner
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.
2018
Level: advanced
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.
2019
Level: beginner
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.
2019
Level: advanced
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.
 
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.
2022
Level: beginner
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.
2012
Level: advanced
In this paper the main developments in post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid- 1990s will be reviewed. For this purpose the main differences between heterodox economics in general, including post-Keynesian economics, and orthodox economics will be reiterated and an overview over the strands of post-Keynesian economics, their commonalities and developments since the 1930s will be outlined. This will provide the grounds for touching upon three important areas of development and progress of post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid-1990s: first, the integration of distribution issues and distributional conflict into short- and long-run macroeconomics, both in theoretical and in empirical/applied works; second, the integrated analysis of money, finance and macroeconomics and its application to changing institutional and historical circumstances, like the process of financialisation; and third, the development of full-blown macroeconomic models, providing alternatives to the mainstream 'New Consensus Model' (NCM), and allowing to derive a full macroeconomic policy mix as a more convincing alternative to the one implied and proposed by the mainstream NCM, which has desperately failed in the face of the recent crises.
2015
Level: beginner
An examination of women's changing economic roles. Includes an analysis of labour force participation, wage inequality, gender differences in education, intra-household distribution of resources, economics of reproduction, and how technological change affects women.
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.
2011
Level: beginner
Capitalism cannot fulfil the promises of the French revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Why? Richard Wollf elaborates on Marx's analysis of the distribution and organisation of surplus in society and his conclusion that there is something inherently wrong in capitalist class structure that still causes economic crisis in our modern times. Change requires changing the organisation of the production. This goes far beyond a discussion of 'more-state' vs. 'less-state'.
Level: beginner
The web page “understanding the crisis” contains an interactive graph that explores the causes of the financial and economic crisis and their interrelatedness. Short texts are available on unregulated capital markets, unequal distribution and international disparities. Further explanations concern trade imbalances, foreign debt or speculations.
2015
Level: advanced
Eckhard Hein criticises the mainstream's view of secular stagnation as the result of a negative real equilibrium interest rate. Arguing in a Keynesian spirit with particular reference to Steindl, secular stagnation is considered to be a result of shift in the functional income distribution, and oligopolistic organisation of industries, leading to excess capacity and reluctance to invest. This acts as a drag on effective demand and results in secular stagnation. Distributional policies and public investment can, however, overcome stagnation its tendencies.
2014
Level: beginner
James Robinson gives in this talk a short introduction into the theory and ideas of his popular book "Why Nations Fail" which was published together with D. Acemoglu in 2012. With many real-life examples he gives a lively description on the fundamentals for economic success from an institutionalist view. According to Robinson, the nature of institutions is a crucial factor for economic success. Whether institutions are inclusive (such as in prosperous economies) or extractive (poor economies) stems from the nation's political process and the distribution of political power.
2020
Level: beginner
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.

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