David Colander and Roland Kupers describe how economists and society became locked into the current policy framework, and lay out fresh alternatives for framing policy questions. Offering original solutions to stubborn problems, the complexity narrative builds on broader philosophical traditions, such as those in the work of John Stuart Mill, to suggest initiatives that the authors call "activist laissez-faire" policies. Colander and Kupers develop innovative bottom-up solutions that, through new institutional structures such as for-benefit corporations, channel individuals’ social instincts into solving societal problems, making profits a tool for change rather than a goal. They argue that a central role for government in this complexity framework is to foster an ecostructure within which diverse forms of social entrepreneurship can emerge and blossom.
In language that is accessible to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, professional economists, and public policy makers, each of the chapters takes on a specific issue of concern to all professional economists, provides empirical analysis of the issue, and then discusses the Post Keynesian view on the topic and contrasts it with the orthodox perspective. The topics covered are grouped into three main categories: empirical studies of consumption; empirical studies of business investment; and empirical studies of international economic relations.
The contributors show how the evolution of racist ideas has been a subtle process that is woven into larger movements in the development of scientific thought; economic thinking is embedded in a larger social milieu. Previous discussions of policies toward race have been constrained by that social milieu, and, since World War II, have largely focused on ending legislated and state-sanctioned discrimination. In the past decade, the broader policy debate has moved on to questions about the existence and relative importance of intangible sources of inequality, including market structure, information asymmetries, cumulative processes, and cultural and/or social capital. This book is a product of, and a contribution to, this modern discussion. It is uniquely transdisciplinary, with contributions by and discussions among economists, philosophers, anthropologists, and literature scholars.
The volume first examines the early history of work on race by economists and social scientists more generally. It continues by surveying American economists on race and featuring contributions that embody more modern approaches to race within economics. Finally it explores several important policy issues that follow from the discussion.
". . . adds new insights that contribute significantly to the debate on racial economic inequality in the U.S. The differing opinions of the contributors provide the broad perspective needed to examine this extremely complex issue."
--James Peoples, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"There is an immense economic literature on racial discrimination, employing a variety of models and decomposition methods. This volume makes a unique contribution by focusing on the philosophical assumptions at the root of this analysis and by presenting many sides of the very vigorous debate surrounding these controversial issues."
--Thomas Maloney, University of Utah
"By focusing upon the progress of analytical technique, historians of economic thought have grossly neglected the symbiotic relation of economics to public policy and ideology. This collection of essays offers a most welcome breach of disciplinary apartheid. Seizing upon recent research in the almost forgotten writings about race of Classical economists and their contemporaries, it relates nineteenth-century ideas to current debates about economic discrimination and other manifestations of racism. As the writing is both learned and lively, the book should appeal both to the generally educated reader and to teachers of courses in multiculturalism."
--Melvin Reder, Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Professor Emeritus of Urban and Labor Economics, University of Chicago
The book includes new interviews with students at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, and Columbia. In these conversations, the students--the next generation of elite economists--colorfully and frankly describe what they think of their field and what graduate economics education is really like. The book concludes with reflections by Colander, Klamer, and Robert Solow.
This inside look at the making of economists will interest anyone who wants to better understand the economics profession. An indispensible tool for anyone thinking about graduate education in economics, this edition is complete with colorful interviews and predictions about the future of cutting-edge economics.
This book consists of twelve studies on the issue of complexity and the history of economic thought. The studies relate complexity to the ideas of specific economists such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall and Ragnar Frisch, as well as to specific schools of thought such as the Austrian and Institutionalist schools.
The result of looking a the history of economic thought from a complexity perspective not only gives us additional insight into the complexity vision, it also gives insight into the history of economic thought. When that history is viewed from a complexity perspective, the rankings of past economists change. Smith and Hayek move up in the rankings while Ricardo moves down.
Of all the subgroups within heterodox economics, Post-Keynesianism has provided the most convincing alternative to mainstream theory. The main representatives of the Post-Keynesianism from both sides of the Atlantic are represented here, including Paul Davidson, Geoff Harcourt and Sheila Dow.