Economist and 2020 Balzan Prize winner for Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities, Joan Martínez Alier, speaks on the importance of ecological economics and its timeliness around the 2007/2008 global financial crisis. He speaks on the importance of building the field of ecological economics “from the ground up” through praxis.
David Harvey illustrates the five most common narratives on why the financial and economic crisis took place – from human frailty to policy failure.
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.
One of the pluralist theories which has gained prominence following the 2008 financial crisis is Hyman Minsky and his Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH). Minsky was unique in viewing balance sheets and financial flows as the primary components of capitalist economies, and his focus on the financial system meant he was well-equipped for foresee a crisis much like 2008. Although he died long before 2008 his framework anticipated many of the processes which led to the crash, particularly increased risk-taking and financial innovation which would outstrip the abilities of regulators and central banks to manage the system.
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.
Happy International Women s Day This International Women s Day 2018 is an opportune moment to highlight prominent scholars of Feminist Economics As a subdiscipline of economics Feminist Economics analyzes the interrelationship between gender and the economy often critiquing inequities and injustices perpetuated by mainstream paradigms Work of this nature …
In order to describe the global structure of the monetary and financial system and its effects on the global economy, most economics textbooks rely on unappropriated theories that provide nothing but outdated descriptions. In this talk, key speakers in economics, economic history and banking try to make this complex system a little more understandable by relying on real-world insights.
Ernest Mandel, a heterodox Marxist economist, shows here how a political economist can analyse systems such as the Soviet Union.
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.
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.
Dans cet épisode, nous nous posons la question du rôle de la monnaie dans une économie capitaliste. Pour cela, nous comparons le fonctionnement de deux économies en apparence identique, à ceci près que la première fonctionne sans monnaie, comme une économie de troc, et la seconde est monétaire. Nous nous apercevons alors que le caractère monétaire ou non d’une économie modifie radicalement ses propriétés. La détermination des profits sera ainsi très différente dans ces deux économies, les relations de causalité entre dépôts et crédits, épargne et investissement s’inversent, une crise de surproduction est possible dans un cas mais pas dans l’autre, et le chômage peut également avoir des origines très différentes, et même opposées, selon que l’on considère une économie monétaire ou non. Les propriétés de l’économie de troc recouvrent celles de la théorie économique standard (théorie néoclassique) qui s’est historiquement construite sans prendre en considération la monnaie, celle-ci étant considérée comme neutre sur l’économie. Les propriétés de l’économie monétaire rappellent quant à elles celles des modèles postkeynésiens, bien moins connus, et qui trouvent leurs origines dans les travaux et écrits de Keynes, qui affirmait dans son ouvrage le plus célèbre (la théorie générale de l’emploi de l’intérêt et de la monnaie) que « lorsqu’on s’attaque à la recherche des facteurs qui déterminent les volumes globaux de la production et de l’emploi, la Théorie complète d’une Economie Monétaire devient indispensable » (1936, p. 297). Pour approfondir le fonctionnement d’une économie monétaire, vous pouvez lire le livre de Laurent Cordonnier, maître de conférences à l’Université de Lille, « L’économie des Toambapiks » qui présente à partir d’une « fable » la loi des profits de Kalecki dont nous parlons dans la vidéo. Le livre se lit très facilement.
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.
Quinn Slobodian a historian of modern Germany and international history analysis of current development in the Mont Pèlerin Society and therefore neo-liberalism. He sees neo-liberalist thinkers less as believers in the self-healing power of markets, but more as ordo-liberal Globalists who wanted to protect the markets from post-war politics and especially mass democracy. Their goal of global capitalism is still strong, however sceptics in the Mont Pèlerin Society are rising, which see international migration as a threat to Globalisation. Therefore, turning neo-liberal policies away from international institutions like the EU back towards the national states as new defenders of the markets as well as international trade and investments. (A development which can be seen in the Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft and especially in the "liberal" wing of the German rightwing populist party AfD)
What influence do changes in tax policy or state decisions on expenditure have on economic growth? For decades, this question has been controversially debated.
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.
Overview page for the collection of nobel laureateas on Exploring Economics
Currency hierarchy and policy space: A research agenda for development economics Barbara Fritz
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.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
A historical glimpse of how economists of the 19th century debated the usefulness of mathematics to economics
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.
In this short lecture the marxist economic geographer David Harvey explains how his theory of The accumulation of dispossession came about and its central principles The theory builds on Marx law of the centralisation of capital arguing how the accumulation no longer stems from producing rather through trading asset values …
If there’s one method economists have neglected the most, it’s qualitative research. Whereas economists favour mathematical models and statistics, qualitative research seeks to understand the world through intensive investigation of particular circumstances, which usually entails interviewing people directly about their experiences. While this may sound simple to quantitative types the style, purpose, context, and interpretation of an interview can vary widely. Because of this variety, I have written a longer post than usual on this topic rather than doing it a disservice. Having said that, examples of qualitative research in economics are sadly scant enough that it doesn’t warrant multiple posts. In this post I will introduce qualitative research in general with nods to several applications including the study of firm behaviour, race, Austrian economics, and health economics. More than usual I will utilise block quotes, which I feel is in the spirit of the topic.
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.
The global financial crisis (GFC) led to increasing distrust in economic research and the economics profession, in the process of which the current state of economics and economic education in particular were heavily criticized. Against this background we conducted a study with undergraduate students of economics in order to capture their view of economic education.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
The last 15 years have seen extensive research into ecosystem service valuation (ESV), spurred by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 (Baveye, Baveye & Gowdy, 2016). Ecosystem services are defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, p.V). For example, ecosystems provide the service of sequestering carbon which helps regulate the climate. Valuation means giving ecosystems or their services a monetary price, for example researchers have estimated that the carbon sequestration services of the Mediterranean Sea is between 100 and 1500 million euros per year. The idea of ESV was a response to the overuse of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, allegedly due to their undervaluation and exclusion from the monetary economy. ESV can be used (1) for policy decision-making, for example allocating funding to a reforestation project (2) for setting payments to people who increase ecosystem services, for example a farmer increasing the organic carbon content of their soil, and (3) for determining fees for people who degrade ecosystem services, for example a company that causes deforestation.
The course will teach students to analyze the goals, implementation, and outcomes of economic policy.
Understanding international trade is central to economics and is currently a hot political issue. It’s an area where popular perceptions of mainstream economics are low, since they have historically missed some important downsides of trade agreements, especially the hollowing out of former manufacturing hubs in the Western world. et economists have for long time had a theory of trade with an impressive amount of scientific clout behind it: the gravity trade model.
Along with addressing core conceptual issues in defining heterodox economics, we will cover in some detail five heterodox traditions in economics: Marxian Economics, Institutional Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics, Feminist Economics, and Ecologi-cal Economics. In the first class meeting, we discuss the structure and goals of the course, as well as the expectations and requirements from the students. In addition, we will discuss the concept of heterodoxy in economics, along with discussing the concepts and key issues in mainstream and neoclassical economics.