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 Economicsis 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.
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.
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.
Based on arguments from Thorstein Veblen, Karl Marx, and Max Weber, social costs are conceptualized as systemic and large-scale damages caused by markets. Kapp refutes neoclassical solutions, such as bargaining, taxation, and tort law, unmasking them as ineffective, inefficient, inconsistent, and too market-obedient.
The chapters of this book present the social costs of markets and neoclassical economics, the social benefits of environmental controls, development planning, and the governance of science and technological standards. This book demonstrates the fruitfulness of the heterodox theory of social costs as a coherent framework to develop effective remedies for today’s urgent socio-ecological crises.
This volume is suitable for readers at all levels who are interested in the theory of social costs, heterodox economics, and the history of economic thought.
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.
These twenty original essays reflect the maturity and breadth of pluralist scholarship in economics today. The first eight chapters (including critical essays by Tony Lawson, Diana Strassmann et al., Frederic Lee, and David Colander) stake out contentious positions on the value of pluralism in economic theory and philosophy. The remaining chapters explore the meaning and consequences of pluralism in economic education, institutions, and policies.
This volume provides a unique "second generation" discussion of pluralism in economics. Its twenty original essays stake out contentious positions on pluralism in economic theory, philosophy, institutions, and policies, and education, reflecting multiple generations and traditions of thought. It is a volume certain to spur wider conversation about the scope and value of economic pluralism for the 21st century. This volume would be of most interest as a supplementary text for graduate or undergraduate courses that include units on heterodox economics or economic philosophy.
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.