1115 results

2014
Level: advanced
What is innovation, what drives innovation and the process that differentiates firms? What is competition and what kind of dynamics lie behind the differences between firms and their innovative activities? Mariana Mazzucato elaborates on those questions from an evolutionary economics' and Schumpeterian perspective. The slides of her lecture are not visible, hence some visualizations can't be followed.
2020
Level: beginner
In this Blog Post on developmenteconomics org Christina C Laskaridis PhD candidate in Economics at SOAS elaborates on the economic fallout of the corona pandemic and especially its impact on the Global South The author focuses in particular on the issue of debt moratoria and debt restructuring and the measures …
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.
2014
Level: beginner
In this TedTalk Dan O Neil explains why GDP and infinite growth are concepts that we should leave behind and which other perspectives have been developed Degrowth post growth well being or steady state economy The goal is to rethink a new paradigm that puts society and the environment at …
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.
2016
Level: advanced
Keen first compares neoclassical approaches to modelling with heterodox ones. Then he discusses in length the required assumptions and the inconsistencies of the aggregate demand and supply model, which is extrapolated from a micro perspective. At the end some dynamic models with feedback mechanisms are shown.
2016
Level: beginner
This multimedia dossier is part of the series „Understanding Finance“ by Finance Watch and explores the following questions: What is bank capital and how is it regulated? It further presents controversies on the size of bank capital in the aftermath of the financial crisis and on how bank capital affects economic activity.
2015
Level: beginner
This multimedia dossier is part of the series „Understanding Finance“ by Finance Watch and presents a description and critical review of financial markets and their functions. It furthermore discusses recent developments, as high frequency trading.
2014
Level: beginner
This multimedia dossier is part of the series „Understanding Finance“ by Finance Watch. The dossier focuses on universal banks – banks that pursue commercial and investment banking and points out several problems of those megabanks, especially in the context of the financial crisis (too big to fail).
Level: beginner
The Heterodox Economics Directory provides a broad variety of links to heterodox journals, books, conferences, study programs, teaching materials and blogs. Some categories are subdivided by schools of thoughts - it's a valuable source for heterodox material on the internet.
Level: beginner
The page "Positive Money" gathers text and short videos which explain how money is created by banks by giving loans. It furthermore presents the consequences of this process on housing prices, inequality and the environment and its role in the financial crisis. The dossier is provided by the campaign "Positive Money" which aims at a democratic control over money creation. Besides texts by the campaign, the page makes available links to journal and conference articles on the topic. The page focuses on the banking system of the UK.
2020
Level: beginner
The core of Georgism is a policy known as the Land Value Tax (LVT), a policy which Georgists claim will solve many of society and the economy’s ills. Georgism is an interesting school of thought because it has the twin properties that (1) despite a cult following, few people in either mainstream or (non-Georgist) heterodox economics pay it much heed; (2) despite not paying it much heed, both mainstream and heterodox economists largely tend to agree with Georgists. I will focus on the potential benefits Georgists argue an LVT will bring and see if they are borne out empirically. But I will begin by giving a nod to the compelling theoretical and ethical dimensions of George’s analysis, which are impossible to ignore.
2020
Level: beginner
Michael Kalecki famously remarked “I have found out what economics is; it is the science of confusing stocks with flows”. Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models were developed precisely to address this kind of confusion. The basic intuition of SFC models is that the economy is built up as a set of intersecting balance sheets, where transactions between entities are called flows and the value of the assets/liabilities they hold are called stocks. Wages are a flow; bank deposits are a stock, and confusing the two directly is a category error. In this edition of the pluralist showcase I will first describe the logic of SFC models – which is worth exploring in depth – before discussing empirical calibration and applications of the models. Warning that there is a little more maths in this post than usual (i.e. some), but you should be able to skip those parts and still easily get the picture.
2016
Level: beginner
The podcast exposes the concept and principles of co-operatives and the three main types of co-operatives: the consumer, credit and farmers buying and selling co-operatives. Furthermore, the history of the co-operative movement is presented. The authors draw the line from co-operatives to "degrowth" by arguing that these organisations discourage profit maximisation due to their ownership structure, their social purpose and their primacy of people over capital. The value of the members' co-operative share does not increase with the growth of a co-operative and it can not be used for speculation. Finally, the authors give examples for current co-operatives which empower (local) communities fostering social justice and environmentalism.
1977
Level: beginner
The documentary proceeds along the lines of Karl Marx' biography, inquiring into his workings as a journalist, social scientist, revolutionary and historian and his travels through Europe. In chronological order historical events, such as the 1848 revolution or the Paris Commune as well as concepts such as dialectics, the labour theory of value or the reform-revolution debate are revisited. The documentary is narrated by John Kenneth Galbraith and by an actor, who plays Marx and recites quotes from his writings.
2015
Level: beginner
The dossier first discusses the impact of colonialism on introducing foreign plants and thus disrupting ecosystems. Subsequently the case of the knotweed, a plant introduced from Japan to the UK and now considered a threat to biodiversity is explored. The complex economy built around the plant consisting of regulations, pesticides, experts, and landowners is then explored.
1977
Level: beginner
John K. Galbraith recounts episodes in the history of money such as the creation of the bank of Amsterdam, John Law's fraudulent Bank Royal, the inception of the Bank of England and of the Federal Reserve to illustrate concepts such as money creation by commercial banks, the bank rate, open market operations or the money supply in general. The emotions, myths and struggles surrounding money are addressed and explained in a clear and consistent manner.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
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.
1977
Level: beginner
John K. Galbraith tells the economic history of a couple of economies (mostly UK, US and to a lesser extent Germany) from the end of the first world war until the Bretton Woods conference. He also provides a biography of John M. Keynes and outlines some central ideas of Keynes such as the possibility of an underemployment equilibrium. Galbraith complements the historical remarks by the biographical experiences he made in economic management (and in engaging with Keynes) serving as deputy head of the Office for Price administration during the second world war.
2015
Level: beginner
Mark Blyth criticises the political inability to solve the persistent economic crisis in Europe against the background of a deflationary environment. Ideological blockades and impotent institutions are the mutually reinforcing causes of European stagnation. The deeper roots lie in the structural change of the economic system since the 1980s, when neoliberalism emerged as hegemonic ideology. This ideology prepared the ground for austerity and resulting deflationary pressures and a strategy of all seeking to export their way out of trouble. Worryingly this is breeding populist and nationalist resentments in Europe.
2016
Level: beginner
Irene van Staveren, professor of pluralist development economics, presents her pluralist teaching method for the introductory level. Based on her textbook “Economics After the Crisis: An Introduction to Economics from a Pluralist and Global Perspective” she suggests to focus on real-world problems and pari passu apply economic theories such as Social economics, Institutional economics, Post-Keynesian economics as well as Neoclassical economics without wasting time to single out the latter. Besides pointing out advantages of such a pluralist method Irene illustrates her approach based on interesting topics such as growth or feminist economics.
2016
Level: beginner
In the inspiring interview on Economics of Care, Nancy Foblre takes a closer look to the consequences of the marketization of caring activities on those activities and on the societal organization of care. Folbre elaborates on how to value care and how this shifts the perspectives on living standards. She points to the fact, that caring activities are undervalued both in the market sphere and within the family and thereby questions the division between those spheres. Lastly, Folbre answers the question how to reteach Economics when accounting for caring activities.
2020
Level: beginner
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.
2020
Level: beginner
How countries achieve long-term GDP growth is up there with the most important topics in economics. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas put it “the consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” Ricardo Hausmann et al take a refreshing approach to this question in their Atlas of Economic Complexity. They argue a country’s growth depends on the complexity of its economy: it must have a diverse economy which produces a wide variety of products, including ones that cannot be produced much elsewhere. The Atlas goes into detail on exactly what complexity means, how it fits the data, and what this implies for development. Below I will offer a summary of their arguments, including some cool data visualisations.
2016
Level: beginner
This video animates part of the talk “On Economics” by Ha-Joon Chang in which he states that economics is not a science for experts but for everyone. Chang further argues why it is important to take into account different perspectives on economics – he identifies at least nine school of thoughts which all have their strengths and weaknesses and presents examples on free trade and well-being. Chang further elaborates on the difficulties of changing the economic status quo.
Level: beginner
In this radio program, the anthropologist David Graeber, explores the history of debt in (currently) 12 episodes. The program is based on his book Debt: The First 5000 Years. First, Graeber asks the questions of how debt and money are characterized, which meaning and roles they had in different historic episodes and how they were interrelated. In the most recent episodes, Graeber elaborates on how debt shaped society. He argues that debt had a different moral status in different times of history, one session analyses the current financial and economic crisis and the role of credit in this historical context.
2016
Level: beginner
The Sufficiency Policy Map is an online tool for initiatives, political actors, organisations and individuals. It provides recommendations, strategies and communication tools for realizing projects and policy around the topic sufficiency. Sufficiency projects have the aim to reduce one's own ecological footprint.
2015
Level: beginner
Gilles Carbonnier, Professor of Development Economics and Director of Studies at The Graduate Institute Geneva, explains the emerging field of Humanitarian Economics. It analyses how economics can help to better grasp and respond to humanitarian crises, and why capturing market dynamics - including the humanitarian market itself, or in relation to e.g. kidnapping and detention in war - has become critical.
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
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.
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.

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