Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics

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Economics is a broad and diverse discipline, but most economics textbooks only cover one way of thinking about the economy. This book provides an accessible introduction to nine different approaches to economics: from feminist to ecological and Marxist to behavioural. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field described and is intended to stand on its own as well as providing an ambitious survey that seeks to highlight the true diversity of economic thought.

Students of economics around the world have begun to demand a more open economics education. This book represents a first step in creating the materials needed to introduce new and diverse ideas into the static world of undergraduate economics. This book will provide context for undergraduate students by placing the mainstream of economic thought side by side with more heterodox schools. This is in keeping with the Rethinking Economics campaign which argues that students are better served when they are presented with a spectrum of economic ideas rather than just the dominant paradigm.

Rethinking Economics: An Introduction to Pluralist Economics

is a great entry-level economics textbook for lecturers looking to introduce students to the broader range of ideas explored within the economics profession. It is also appropriate and accessible for people outside of academia who are interested in economics and economic theory.
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About the author

Liliann Fischer has an International Relations background, recently graduating from her first Master’s degree in Global Conflict and Peace Processes at the University of Aberdeen and is now studying for a second degree in Political Psychology at the University of Kent, UK.

Joe Hasell graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from the University of Oxford. Following a recent Masters in Economics and Finance at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, he has just begun a PhD in Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds, UK.

J.Christopher Proctor studied Economics, History and Politics at the University of Tulsa before doing the EPOG Master's program at Kingston University, London and Université Paris 13. He is currently an Associate in Pluralist Economics for oikos International.

David Uwakwe became involved with Rethinking Economics while studying Political Economy at Kingston University, London. Since graduating, he has been working as a freelance journalist and is currently living in his native Dublin.

Zach Ward-Perkins is a former PPE student at the University of Manchester and a co-founder of the Post-Crash Economics society. Zach is one of the co-authors of The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts.

Catriona Watson is a former PPE student, Head of Campaigns at Rethinking Economics and co-founder of the Post-Crash Economics society. She is now studying for a postgraduate degree in Economics at Leeds University, UK.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Sep 22, 2017
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Pages
142
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ISBN
9781315407241
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Economics / Comparative
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Routledge Handbook of Heterodox Economics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest work on economic theory and policy from a ‘pluralistic’ heterodox perspective.

Contributions throughout the Handbook explore different theoretical perspectives including: Marxian-radical political economics; Post Keynesian-Sraffian economics; institutionalist-evolutionary economics; feminist economics; social economics; Régulation theory; the Social Structure of Accumulation approach; and ecological economics. They explain the structural properties and dynamics of capitalism, as well as propose economic and social policies for the benefit of the majority of the population. This book aims, firstly, to provide realistic and coherent theoretical frameworks to understand the capitalist economy in a constructive and forward-looking manner. Secondly, it delineates the future directions, as well as the current state, of heterodox economics, and then provides both ‘heat and light’ on controversial issues, drawing out the commonalities and differences among different heterodox economic approaches. The volume also envisions transformative economic and social policies for the majority of the population and explains why economics is, and should be treated as, a social science.

This Handbook will be of compelling interest to those, including students, who wish to learn about alternative economic theories and policies that are rarely found in conventional economics textbooks or discussed in the mainstream media, and to critical economists and other social scientists who are concerned with analyzing pressing socio-economic issues.

Any economics that does not deal forthrightly with economic inequality is no longer suitable for the twenty-first century. Similarly, any economics which does not provide a coherent way to integrate environmental sustainability into economic analysis will fail to command allegiance in the century ahead. This book demonstrates how the Sraffian framework provides important advantages in both areas.

Divided into three chapters, Income Distribution and Environmental Sustainability provides a rigorous exposition of Sraffian theory emphasizing what it means for the economy to be productive, extends Sraffian theory to address environmental sustainability, and adds a normative theory of income distribution to Sraffa’s positive theory. In Chapter 1, a rigorous version of the basic Sraffa model is presented which focuses on what it means for the economy to be capable of producing a physical surplus, explains the origin of profits, and shows how to measure changes in overall labor productivity resulting from any technical change. In Chapter 2, the basic model is extended to incorporate primary inputs from the natural environment, rigorously measure changes in environmental throughput efficiency, and establish sufficient conditions for environmental sustainability. In Chapter 3, an explicit "normative" theory of economic justice is elaborated which is a natural extension of Sraffa’s "positive" theory of income determination and consistent with modern egalitarian literature on distributive justice.

This book is of interest to academics and students who study political economy, economic theory, and philosophy, as well as those interested in the work of Piero Sraffa.

America is becoming a class-based society.

It is now conventional wisdom to focus on the wealth of the top 1 percent—especially the top 0.01 percent—and how the ultra-rich are concentrating income and prosperity while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the most important, consequential, and widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else.

Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income is not the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services.

As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is not just an economic divide but a fracturing of American society along class lines. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults.

These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of “opportunity hoarding” among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper-middle-class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society.

Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against—and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.

A revised and enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell's essential examination of differences of wealth and income between nations and within nations
Wealth, Poverty and Politics challenges the assumptions, the definitions, the evidence and the reasoning of most of what is said about differences of income and wealth by people in the media, in academia and in politics. After an extensive examination of factors behind the economic differences between nations and within nations -- including geographic, demographic, cultural and political factors -- the last section of the book is a searching critique of leading income redistributionists, from John Rawls to Thomas Piketty and Nobel laureates in economics Paul Krugman, Angus Deaton and Joseph Stiglitz.
Among the more heartening findings from history are the individuals, groups and nations that have risen from poverty and backwardness to prosperity and achievements on the frontiers of human progress. Among the more painful findings are counterproductive creeds and policies that have needlessly prolonged poverty and dependency among lagging groups in countries around the world, and whipped up resentments -- and sometimes violence -- against more productive and successful minorities in many places and times.
Although Wealth, Poverty and Politics offers many new analyses and insights, it is essentially a fact-based study which subjects many beliefs, from various parts of the ideological spectrum, to the ultimate test of empirical evidence. These challenged beliefs about the causes of economic differences range from genetic determinism to exploitation and discrimination. In each case, the analysis follows where the facts lead, whether that is verification, refutation or some combination of the two. Its guiding principle is expressed in a quotation from the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan that opens the final section of the book: "You're entitled to your own opinions, but you're not entitled to your own facts."
In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being Asianized.

The “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, Russia to Australia, Turkey to Indonesia—linking five billion people through trade, finance, infrastructure, and diplomatic networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP. China has taken a lead in building the new Silk Roads across Asia, but it will not lead it alone. Rather, Asia is rapidly returning to the centuries-old patterns of commerce, conflict, and cultural exchange that thrived long before European colonialism and American dominance. Asians will determine their own future—and as they collectively assert their interests around the world, they will determine ours as well.

There is no more important region of the world for us to better understand than Asia – and thus we cannot afford to keep getting Asia so wrong. Asia’s complexity has led to common misdiagnoses: Western thinking on Asia conflates the entire region with China, predicts imminent World War III around every corner, and regularly forecasts debt-driven collapse for the region’s major economies. But in reality, the region is experiencing a confident new wave of growth led by younger societies from India to the Philippines, nationalist leaders have put aside territorial disputes in favor of integration, and today’s infrastructure investments are the platform for the next generation of digital innovation.

If the nineteenth century featured the Europeanization of the world, and the twentieth century its Americanization, then the twenty-first century is the time of Asianization. From investment portfolios and trade wars to Hollywood movies and university admissions, no aspect of life is immune from Asianization. With America’s tech sector dependent on Asian talent and politicians praising Asia’s glittering cities and efficient governments, Asia is permanently in our nation’s consciousness. We know this will be the Asian century. Now we finally have an accurate picture of what it will look like.
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