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.
One method of economic modelling that has become increasingly popular in academia, government and the private sector is Agent Based Models, or ABM. These simulate the actions and interactions of thousands or even millions of people to try to understand the economy – for this reason ABM was once described to me as being “like Sim City without the graphics”. One advantage of ABM is that it is flexible, since you can choose how many agents there are (an agent just means some kind of 'economic decision maker' like a firm, consumer, worker or government); how they behave (do they use complicated or simple rules to make decisions?); as well as the environment they act in, then just run the simulation and see what happens as they interact over time.
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.
This paper investigates how the concept of public purpose is used in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). As a common denominator among political scientists, the idea of public purpose is that economic actions should aim at benefiting the majority of the society. However, the concept is to be considered as an ideal of a vague nature, which is highly dependent on societal context and, hence, subject to change over time. MMT stresses that government spending plans should be designed to pursue a certain socio-economic mandate and not to meet any particular financial outcome. The concept of public purpose is heavily used in this theoretical body of thought and often referred to in the context of policy proposals as the ideas of universal job guarantee and banking reform proposals show. MMT scholars use the concept as a pragmatic benchmark against which policies can be assessed. With regards to the definition of public propose, MMT scholars agree that it is dependent on the social-cultural context. Nevertheless, MMT scholars view universal access to material means of survival as universally applicable and in that sense as the lowest possible common denominator.
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.
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.
Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming's extraordinary 'Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It'. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision. Recognizing that Lean Logic's sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming's long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyable writing style remain Fleming's, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format
Pluralism includes mainstream economics. Our campaign for pluralism, including this series, have generally focused on ideas outside the mainstream on the basis that it gets plenty of attention already so we want to spend our time exposing people to alternatives. Nevertheless, mainstream ideas deserve some attention. On top of this, a curious feature of modern economics education is that some of the best ideas from mainstream economics are not even taught to undergraduates! During this series I will explore such ideas, starting today with the market construction technique known as ‘matching’.
Some economic events are so major and unsettling that they “change everything.” Such is the case with the financial crisis that started in the summer of 2007 and is still a drag on the world economy. Yet enough time has now elapsed for economists to consider questions that run deeper than the usual focus on the immediate causes and consequences of the crisis.
The Atlas of Economic Complexity is an award-winning data visualization tool that allows people to explore global trade flows across markets, track these dynamics over time and discover new growth opportunities for every country.
Readers of economic and political theory as well as students of economic planning will appreciate this classic, now available for the first time in English. Written eighty years ago, when Sorel became disillusioned with the official socialism of the German and French Marxist parties, this new translation presents Sorel's analysis of the rise and fall of the two great modern ideologies: socialism and liberal capitalism.
Feminist economist Nancy Folbre presents a historical analysis of the interrelated development of Patriarchy and Capitalism. She describes the role of women in the reproduction of labour, their “specialization” in care and their changing involvement in the labour market. Folbre argues that capitalism weakens patriarchy but at the same time relies on unpaid caring activities.
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.
The MINE website explores the interplay between nature and economy. Focusing on such fundamental concepts as time, thermodynamics, evolution, homo politicus and justice, a new outline of economic activity emerges within nature. The dominant approach of Mainstream Economics, which considers nature as a subsystem of the economy, is thus replaced by a broader and more integrated framework. The visual map and its links between concepts provides an orientation. The visitor can approach the content from their own starting point and follow their own path to discovery. Each concept starts with the historical background and moves on through theory and practice. The research behind MINE began in the 1970s at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in an interdisciplinary group spearheaded by Professor Malte Faber, including scientists from economics to mathematics, physics and philosophy. The research has contributed to the field of Ecological Economics. MINE is directed at students, scientists and decion-makers. More on http://nature-economy.de/faq/
There are three things one can do in this website - 1. Learn 2. Help Teach 3. Sign up MOOC. This is a semester-long graduate course in Econometrics. This course is intended for graduate students in economics-related fields and more generally in social sciences. The course includes an overview of the models and theory and applications using Stata, R, or SAS programs. This econometrics class covers about 15 of the most commonly used econometric models in economics, such as linear regression, panel data models, probit and logit models, limited dependent variable models, count data models, time series models, and many more.
For many social critics "globalization" is a signpost of “late-capitalism” with the rise of multinational corporations, mass consumption and the multidirectional flows of capital, labor, media, communication, ideologies and social movements across national borders. Feminist analyses of globalization and the gendered and sexualized permutations of these phenomena offer a critical stance for theorizing these processes, and for studying their complex articulations across time and space.
With the collapse of the planned economies of Eastern Europe, the market is extending its reach and at the same time claiming its universal applicability. But this is occurring while paradoxically it is becoming more difficult to define "the market". The authors, all outstanding scholars in the booming field of socio-economics, explore how concrete markets are built up and stabilized.
This book challenges the mainstream paradigm, based on the inter-temporal optimisation of welfare by individual agents. It introduces a methodology for studying how institutions create flows of income, expenditure and production together with stocks of assets and liabilities, thereby determining how whole economies evolve through time.
Hunt (economics, U. of Utah) provides a concise history of the rise and triumph of capitalism, centering mainly on England until 1800 and the U.S. since 1800. He traces the evolution of some of the most significant institutions of capitalism, analyzes the recurring ideological defenses and the radical critiques of capitalism, and examines intellectual developments which were occurring at the same time.
That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does.
This Micro-Masters program on Circular Economy looks at the concept and its application from different angles, covering a very wide variety of topics (From Fossil Fuels to Biomass: A Chemistry Perspective; Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach; Economics and Policies in a Biobased Economy). It offers a well-rounded, multidisciplinary perspective, using sciences and humanities together for a deeper understanding of the topic. A great start for newbies with Circular Economy! The access to the course is for free, but you can also apply for full-time on-campus graduate-level programs, be it Wageninged or other universities.
In this book, distinguished economist Edith Kuiper shows us that the history of economic thought is just that, a his-story, by telling the herstory of economic thought from the perspective of women economic writers and economists. Although some of these women were well known in their time, they were excluded from most of academic economics, and, over the past centuries, their work has been neglected, forgotten, and thus become invisible.
Industrial policy has been a central part of policy prescription by many heterodox schools arguably since mercantilism, but the theories behind it and types of policy advocated for have evolved over time. Recently some neoclassical economists have shown renewed interest in it, but is this mainstream acceptance a step back or a step forward from earlier heterodox ideas?
Aim: to work out jointly with students a systematic perception of how the gender factor can impact on economic and demographic development. This course is pioneering: it is the first time that such a course has been introduced into the curriculum of a Russian higher educational institution with a focus on economics.
After long-time negligence, the Global South and the North-South divide are back on the agenda of development economics again. This book is a neat, accessible introduction into the topic, covering both the current situation and potential remedies from different points of view.
In this essay the authors take a look at how welfare could be provided in a degrowth society.
This essay draws on several analyses on the gender impact of the recession and of austerity policies, in which authors acknowledge a threat to women’s labour market integration and a potential backlash to traditional gender labour structures. We contribute to that literature by asking whether recession and austerity convey a gender effect on educational attainment. Our aim in this essay is to portray the likely effects of austerity measures on gender equality with a focus on women’s participation in tertiary education and to hypothesize the implications of these scenarios for labour market effects, to be tested in future empirical research.
With the onset of an economic crisis that has been universally acknowledged since the end of March, two main questions arise: To what extent is the corona pandemic the starting point (or even the cause) of this crisis? And secondly: can the aid programmes that have been adopted prevent a deep and prolonged recession?
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.
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.
Here we look at the effect of the 2008 Climate Change Act passed in Parliament in the United Kingdom as an effort to curb emissions in all sectors. The Act aside from setting goals to become a low-carbon economy sets up an independent committee on Climate Change to ensure the implementation of policies to comply with the ultimate goal of 80% reduction in total emissions in 2050. I make use of the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) to create a comparative case study in which the creation of a synthetic UK serves as a counterfactual where the treatment never occurred (Cunningham, 2018).
Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis provides a chance to implement economic measures that are also beneficial from environmental and social perspectives. While ‘green’ recovery packages are crucial to support economies tracking a low-carbon transition in the short-term, green measures such as carbon pricing are also key to improving welfare in the long-term. This commentary specifies the need for carbon pricing, outlines its implications for our everyday lives, and explains how it works alongside value-based change in the context of climate action and societal well-being.