formalism which pervades an account like that of Pigou ( 1933 ), one of his immediate adversaries, and which would come to dominate modern mainstream economics even more brutally. But Keynes professes little patience with other economists’ difficulties, reminding Robertson that the General Theory was ‘a purely theoretical work, not a collection of wisecracks’ (CWXIII: 518).
The difficulties of comprehension appear to be confirmed in the way the General Theory has been subject to widely different interpretations. Keynes stresses his own revolutionary accomplishment
The perils of leaving economics
to the experts
Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine
knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It
consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.
The authors of this book are of the generation that came of age in
the maelstrom of the 2008 global financial crisis. It was a crisis that
came as if from nowhere, interrupting our teenage years and sending
shockwaves reverberating around the world. On the news we saw
worry and confusion
There has been increasing interest and debate in recent years on the instituted nature of economic processes in general and the related ideas of the market and the competitive process in particular. This debate lies at the interface between two largely independent disciplines, economics and sociology, and reflects an attempt to bring the two fields of discourse more closely together. This book explores this interface in a number of ways, looking at the competitive process and market relations from a number of different perspectives. It considers the social role of economic institutions in society and examines the various meanings embedded in the word 'markets', as well as developing arguments on the nature of competition as an instituted economic process. The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system. The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the lines of the standard textbook model in economics. The book discusses the concepts of polysemy , idealism, cognition, materiality and cultural economy. Michael Best provides an account of regional economic adaptation to changed market circumstances. This is the story of the dynamics of capitalism focused on the resurgence of the Route 128 region around Boston following its decline in the mid-1980s in the face of competition from Silicon Valley. The book also addresses the question of how this resurgence was achieved.
This book sees Keynes as neither villain nor hero and develops a sympathetic ‘left’ critique. Keynes was an avowedly elitist and pro-capitalist economist, whom the left should appropriate with caution. But his analysis provides insights at a level of concreteness which Marx’s analysis largely ignored and which were concerned with issues of the modern world which Marx could not have foreseen. A critical Marxist engagement can simultaneously increase the power of Keynes’s insight and enrich Marxism. To understand Keynes, whose work is liberally invoked but seldom read, the book first puts Keynes in context, explaining his biography and the extraordinary times in which he lived, his philosophy and his politics. The book describes Keynes’s developing critique of ‘the classics’, of mainstream economics as he found it, and summarises the General Theory. It shows how Keynes provides an enduringly valuable critique of orthodoxy but vital insights rather than a genuinely general theory. The book then develops a Marxist appropriation of Keynes’s insights. It argues that Marxist analysis of unemployment, of money and interest, and of the role of the state can be enriched through such a critical engagement. The book addresses Keynesianism after Keynes, critically reviewing the practices that came to be known as ‘Keynesianism’ and different theoretical traditions that have claimed his legacy. It considers the crisis of the 1970s, the subsequent anti-Keynesian turn, the economic and ecological crises of the twenty-first century, and the prospects of returning to Keynes and Keynesianism.
Change is coming
Joelle Gamble is a Black American 1 woman and an economist in
her early thirties. In December 2020, she was appointed Special
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy by the
This book is about all the barriers people like Joelle
must overcome to succeed in economics. Being a woman in a male
The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.
This book updates and develops the arguments of TV drama in transition (1997). It sets its analysis of the aesthetics and compositional principles of texts within a broad conceptual framework (technologies, institutions, economics, cultural trends). Tracing ‘the great value shift from conduit to content’ (Todreas, 1999), the book's view is relatively optimistic about the future quality of TV drama in a global market-place. But, characteristically taking up questions of worth where others have avoided them, it recognises that certain types of ‘quality’ are privileged for viewers able to pay, possibly at the expense of viewer preference worldwide for ‘local’ resonances in television. The mix of arts and cultural studies methodologies makes for an unusual approach.
to this debate about measuring, understanding
and, ultimately, reshaping economic systems. More than that,
it is a critique of existing custom and practice when measuring,
understanding and shaping the economy. This critique is as
foundational as the book’s title.
This critique goes to a set of deep questions in economics
and economic policy. How do we assess how well society is
Measuring and shaping the economy
being served by the economy? The existing convention, based
around individuals’ consumption of private goods – in short,
GDP? Or an alternative
not about decision making. Its purpose is to provide an essential element in constructing
theories of equilibrium, and equilibrium in economics is routinely defined as
a state of affairs in which there are no decisions to be made. In fact, analysis
often proceeds – notably in the Arrow–Debreu model – directly from basic
data to equilibrium allocations.
When choices are deduced, only the premisses matter; and so it is the explanation of those determinants – and why they, and only they, are determinants
– that deserves attention. One might therefore have expected
capital in a form of what Callon (2002) calls
Part of this knowledge work, furthermore, is done by consumers – as Metcalfe (1998, p. 29) points out, ‘intelligent consumers are as much a part of the
innovation process as intelligent suppliers’. Hodgson’s call (1999b, p. 251)
within institutional economics for a more serious engagement with culture
focuses on the ways cultural factors shape economic preferences, as well as
aiming to bring the culture of organisations into the purview of institutional
analysis. In emergent cultural markets, these