Tag: The dismal science

Ideology is Dead! Long Live Ideology!

Yves here. Quelle surprise! Economists engage in groupthink, which sounds a little less bad if you call it “ideology”. By Mohsen Javdani, Associate Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus and Ha-Joon Chang, Professor, University of Cambridge. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Mainstream (neoclassical) economics has always […]

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How Richard Vague Discovered Gravity: An Interview + Book Review of A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises

Yves here. As John Siman describes below, Richard Vague, who has done considerable work on the economic damage done by high levels of private debt, extended it by making an in-depth study of financial crises. Vague documents that private debt growth over time exceeds GDP growth, creating the need for writeoffs. If they don’t come […]

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No, Productivity Does Not Explain Income

Yves here. Even though the mere use of the word “productivity” might lead readers to expect a wonky post, this is a highly accessible treatment when the argument is clearly stated. More like this, please. Mind you, that does not mean I find all elements of author Blair Fix’s argument equally convincing but the spare […]

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Keeping the Oil in the Soil

By James Boyce, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Efforts to reduce demand for fossil fuels by promoting energy efficiency and clean energy can do a lot. But to meet the Paris Agreement target of holding the rise in average surface temperatures to 1.5-2 […]

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China: The Covert Credit Superpower

An new working paper by Sebastian Horn, Carmen Reinhart and Christoph Trebesch on China’s foreign lending has some important findings, such as that China accounts for more than 40% of the external debt of 50 developing countries. We’ve embedded the document at the end of this post. The study is an ambitious undertaking, seeking to […]

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Taxes for Revenue Are Obsolete

UserFriendly chided me for not having reproduced this classic, as I did for Michal Kalecki’s 1943 essay on the obstacles to reaching full employment. Apparently this classic article by Beardsley Ruml on why what we would now call a sovereign currency issuer doesn’t need taxes in order to spend doesn’t show up well on the […]

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Is Industrial Policy Finally Legitimate?

Yves here. It’s become more and more respectable in development economic circles to acknowledge that formerly taboo ideas like trade barriers and other forms of support to emerging industries are sound policy. The reversal by the IMF on the value of industrial policy is nevertheless significant. And that’s before you get to the fact that […]

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The Myth of Expansionary Austerity

By Christian Breuer, Junior Professor, Chemnitz University of Technology and Head of Wirtschaftsdienst and Intereconomics, zbw – the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Many critics have sharply attacked orthodox economics, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and policymakers for their emphasis on austerity […]

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Michael Hudson Discusses the IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness

Yves here. Get a cup of coffee. This interview with Michael Hudson on the role of the IMF and World Bank has lots of juicy detail. From Guns and Butter, produced by Bonnie Faulkner, Yarrow Mahko and Tony Rango. Visit them at gunsandbutter.orgto listen to past programs, comment on shows, or join their email list […]

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Takers and Makers: Who Are the Real Value Creators?

By Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex. Author of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths. Twitter: @MazzucatoM. Adapted from The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato. Copyright © 2018 by Penguin Random House UK. ; originally published at Evonomics […]

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Rebel Economist Breaks Through to Washington on How Shareholder Value Theory Rewards the Undeserving

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Ever heard that a corporation’s sole duty is to maximize value for shareholders? In the go-go ‘80s, business schools, government organizations, and most public companies took up this mantra. It stuck around. […]

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The Individual Costs of Occupational Decline

Yves here. You have to read a bit into this article on occupational decline, aka, “What happens to me after the robots take my job?” to realize that the authors studied Swedish workers. One has to think that the findings would be more pronounced in the US, due both to pronounced regional and urban/rural variations, […]

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Are Economists Blocking Progress on Climate Change?

By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Delft University of Technology. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Dutch economist Servaas Storm, co- author of a widely-read 2018 study on climate change, “Why Green Growth is an Illusion,” talks to the Institute for New Economic Thinking about where we are today. Lynn […]

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Economic Growth: A Short History of a Controversial Idea

By Gareth Dale, who teaches at Brunel University. He publishes occasionally in The Ecologist. This article includes passages from previously published texts, including ‘The tide is rising, don’t rock the boat!’ Economic growth and the legitimation of inequality (2018), Seventeenth century origins of the growth paradigm (2017), and The growth paradigm: A critique (2012). Originally […]

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Conservative Economists Embrace Adam Smith as a Hero — But Many Scholars Say His Legacy Has Been Distorted

By Glory M. Liu, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Political Theory Project at Brown University with research interests in the history of political thought, American politics and political economy. She is currently working on a book project titled “Inventing the Invisible Hand: Adam Smith in American Thought and Politics, 1776-Present.” Cross-posted from Alternet. People […]

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Eight Reasons Why Inequality Ruins the Economy

By Chris Dillow, an economics writer at Investors Chronicle. He blogs at Stumbling and Mumbling, and is the author of New Labour and the End of Politics. Follow him on Twitter: @CJFDillow. Originally published at Stumbling and Mumbling; cross posted from Evonomics I welcome Professor Sir Angus Deaton’s report into inequality. I especially like its emphasis […]

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Richard Murphy: For MMT (Long and Wonkish)

Yves here. Even though Richard Murphy is debunking some UK-based complaints (they don’t rise to the level of being critiques) about MMT, similar arguments come up in the US, so I thought his piece would be instructive on this side of the pond too. By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He […]

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The Intergenerational Effects of a Large Wealth Shock: Evidence from the US Civil War

Yves here. Even if I knew Birmingham better, it would not serve as a point of reference for this study. Birmingham was incorporated in 1871 and its wealthy was based on industry, not agriculture. I wonder what Harry Shearer would By Philipp Ager, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Southern Denmark,Leah Boustan, Professor of Economics […]

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Is Conservatism Running on Brand Fumes?

A provocative article in the Guardian, ‘A zombie party’: the deepening crisis of conservatism, is a must read. I am going to focus on a few key observations rather than attempt to summarize it. Among other things, it also gives some perspective on Brexit, about which I ought to be Saying Something. But we are […]

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