nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2009‒01‒17
five papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. Growth, the Environment and Keynes: Reflections on Two Heterodox Schools of Thought By Clive L Spash; Heinz Schandl
  2. Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields and Methods from Past to Future By Philip Arestis; Alexander Mihailov
  3. Spending Versus Tax Cuts: Who Pays the Cost of Political Compromise? By Dean Baker
  4. Symbolic Consumption and the Social Construction of Product Characteristics By Ulrich Witt
  5. Identity and educational choice: a behavioral approach By Yuemei JI

  1. By: Clive L Spash; Heinz Schandl (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: This paper explores the approach of Post Keynesian Economics (PKE) in comparison with ecological economics. While PKE, like all macroeconomics, has failed to address environmental problems it does have many aspects which make compatibility with ecological economics seem feasible. Ecological economics has no specific macroeconomic approach although it has strong implications for economic growth and how this should be controlled, directed and in materials terms limited. We highlight growth as the key area of difference and reflect upon how Keynes himself saw capital accumulation as a means to an end not an end in itself, regarded it as a temporary measure and also was well aware of some of its psychological and social drawbacks.
    Keywords: environment, Keynes, post keynesian, ecological economics
    JEL: E12 O40 P16 Q01
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Philip Arestis (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge); Alexander Mihailov (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We propose a simple, yet sufficiently encompassing classification scheme of monetary economics. It comprises three fundamental fields and six recent areas that expand within and across these fields. The elements of our scheme are not found together and in their mutual relationships in earlier studies of the relevant literature, neither is this an attempt to produce a relatively complete systematization. Our intention in taking stock is not finality or exhaustiveness. We rather suggest a viewpoint and a possible ordering of the accumulating knowledge. Our hope is to stimulate an improved understanding of the evolving nature and internal consistency of monetary economics at large.
    Keywords: monetary economics, monetary theory, monetary policy, public finance, classification, methodology
    JEL: E40 E50 E60
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Dean Baker
    Abstract: President Obama and the Democratic leadership will undoubtedly have to make some political compromises in order to get a stimulus package through Congress. However, it is important to keep in mind that there will be real costs associated with these compromises insofar as they result in a less effective stimulus package. A less effective package will mean less economic growth, which will, in turn, mean that fewer people will have jobs.
    Keywords: economic crisis, economic stimulus, fiscal stimulus
    JEL: H H5 H6 H2
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Ulrich Witt
    Abstract: As recognized since long, consumption serving to signal social status, group membership, or self-esteem is a socially contingent activity. The corresponding expenditures are motivated mainly by the symbolic value they have for transmitting the signal. However, this presupposes some form of social coordination on what are valid, approved symbols. Unlike consumption not serving signaling purposes, the technological characteristics of the goods and services consumed may be secondary – what counts is their socially agreed capacity to function as a symbol. The paper discusses in detail the cognitive underpinnings of social agreement on consumption symbols and a model of their spontaneous emergence.
    Keywords: Length 16 pages
    Date: 2008–12
  5. By: Yuemei JI
    Abstract: It is puzzling that socioeconomic background greatly affects educational choice. Distinguished from the explanations based on expected utility theory, this paper attempts to explore the psychological mechanisms of generating educational identity1 and schooling choice. It offers a self-signaling model where (1) it incorporates self-esteem concerns into the agent’s payoff function, (2) the investment in schooling not only signals her cognitive ability but also brings the agent into cognitive dissonance and reduction when the perceptions of ability are time-dependent. Using this model, I show a more discriminating analysis of educational choice which combines multi-dimensional factors including socioeconomic background, cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. I identify the conditions under which the high ability agent fails to invest in education. The quality of school and the preschooling are key variables. The model suggests that public policy can help poor children by improving both the early and later education quality at school.
    Keywords: identity, educational choice, poverty
    JEL: D81 I30
    Date: 2008–11

This nep-pke issue is ©2009 by Karl Petrick. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.