nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2013‒03‒16
six papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Economics - Unfit for purpose: The Director's Cut By Ben Fine
  2. The Fisher Relation in the Great Depression and the Great Recession By David Laidler
  3. Green Keynesianism: Beyond Standard Growth Paradigms By Jonathan M. Harris
  4. Population, Resources, and Energy in the Global Economy: A Vindication of Herman Daly's Vision By Jonathan M. Harris
  5. Do Politicians Serve the One Percent? Evidence in OECD Countries By Torija, P.
  6. The Governance of the Black Holes of the World Economy: Shadow Banking and Offshore Finance By Palan, R.; Nesvetailova, A.

  1. By: Ben Fine (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: This paper is a lengthier and revised version of the Closing Plenary given to the World Congress of the Association of Social Economics, and Cairncross Lecture, University of Glasgow, June, 2012. Mainstream economics is seen as unfit for purpose because of deficiencies that have long been criticised by a marginalised heterodoxy. These include the taking out of the historical and social even if bringing them back in on the basis of a technical apparatus and architecture that is sorely inappropriate. These observations are illustrated in passing reference to social capital but are particularly appropriate for understanding the weakness of ethics within mainstream economics. An alternative is offered through taking various “entanglements†(such as facts and values) as critical point of departure, leading to the suggestion that ethical systems are subject to the 10 Cs – Constructed, Construed, Conforming, Commodified, Contextual, Contradictory, Closed, Contested, Collective and Chaotic.
    Keywords: Economics and ethics, heterodox critique of mainstream, social capital
    JEL: A10 A11 A12 A13 B41 B50
    Date: 2013–01
  2. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: The Fisher relation played a very different role in debates surrounding the Great Depression and the more recent Great Recession. This paper explores some of these differences, and suggests an explanation for them derived from a sketch of the idea’s evolution between the two events, thus providing a brief case study of the interaction of economic ideas and economic events that is a central feature of the History of Economic Thought.
    Keywords: Interest rates, nominal vs. real, Inflation, deflation, expectations, depression, recession, Keynesian Economics; Monetarism; Monetary Policy
    JEL: B22 B26 E31 E32 E43
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Jonathan M. Harris
    Abstract: In the wake of the global financial crisis, Keynesianism has had something of a revival. In practice, governments have turned to Keynesian policy measures to avert economic collapse. In the theoretical area, mainstream economists have started to give grudging attention to Keynesian perspectives previously dismissed in favor of New Classical theories. This theoretical and practical shift is taking place at the same time that environmental issues, in particular global climate change, are compelling attention to alternative development paths. Significant potential now exists for “Green Keynesianism” -- combining Keynesian fiscal policies with environmental goals. But there are also tensions between the two perspectives of Keynesianism and ecological economics. Traditional Keynesianism is growth-oriented, while ecological economics stresses limits to growth. Expansionary policies needed to deal with recession may be in conflict with goals of reducing resource and energy use and carbon emissions. In addition, long-term deficit and debt problems pose a threat to implementation of expansionary fiscal policies. This paper explores the possibilities for Green Keynesianism in theory and practice, and suggests that these apparent contradictions can be resolved, and that Green Keynesian policies offer a solution to both economic stagnation and global environmental threats.
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Jonathan M. Harris
    Abstract: Herman Daly pioneered the concept of environmental macroeconomics. He famously argued that we have moved from an “empty world” of resource abundance to a “full world” of energy and resource limits. His insights, however, have generally been rejected or ignored by most mainstream economic analysts, who argue that resource shortages are remediable through market flexibility and substitution, posing no threat to long-term exponential economic growth. In the absence of immediate crisis, standard economics has been able to maintain this “optimistic” stance, dismissing population, resource, and energy limits. But developments during the first decade of the twenty-first century indicate that it will be Daly’s view, rather than that of the mainstream, that will be most important in shaping economic development in the coming century. As Daly foresaw, an energy economy based on high efficiency and renewable fuels cannot pursue the exponential growth path characteristic of the fossil-fuel dependent economy of the twentieth century. The issues involved go well beyond the energy sector of the economy. Population growth and food supply also become critical. There are many interactions between the agricultural and energy systems; in addition to energy intensification in agriculture, demands for biofuels put pressure on the limited supply of agricultural land. Recent price spikes in food, fuels, and minerals indicate the tremendous stresses placed on the global ecosystem by the combination of population and economic growth in China, India, and elsewhere. They also raise major issues of equity, as high prices for energy and food impact the poor disproportionately. Similar problems affect ecological systems such as forests and fisheries on a global scale. It will not be possible to adjust to such stresses simply through market flexibility. It is already evident that large-scale government intervention will be needed to respond to climate change. In this context, an activist environmental macroeconomics will be required to balance the requirements of equity and ecosystem sustainability. Either through planned adjustment or through crisis, it will be necessary to shift away from a macroeconomics of indefinite growth towards stabilization of population and reduction of resource throughput, as Daly has long advocated.
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Torija, P.
    Abstract: Present social movements, as "Occupy Wall Street" or the Spanish "Indignados", claim that politicians work for an economic elite, the 1%, that drives the world economic policies. In this paper we show through econometric analysis that these movements are accurate: politicians in OECD countries maximize the happiness of the economic elite. In 2009 center-right parties maximized the happiness of the 100th-98th richest percentile and center-left parties the 100th-95th richest percentile. The situation has evolved from the seventies when politicians represented, approximately, the median voter.
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Palan, R.; Nesvetailova, A.
    Abstract: This paper focuses on regulatory challenges posed by the two interconnected structures of the global financial system – the economy of tax havens (or offshore financial centres), and the shadow banking system. The financial crisis of 2007-09 has revealed that tax havens structures and shadow banking entities play a central role in the practise of financial institutions reliant on financial innovation. Thriving on complexity, opaque networks and driven by arbitrage, the two phenomena pose tremendous challenges to national and international regulators aiming to restore the financial cycle in the recessionary environment. In this paper, we analyse "the state of play" and the current plans for the governance of tax havens, offshore finance and the shadow banking industry. We find that although offshore financial centres and shadow banking are outside the scope of academic economics, they have attracted a lot of attention on the part of financial researchers and regulators. Along with other macro-prudential and system risk concerns, the regulation, or governance of these "black holes" of the global economy is increasingly assuming a central place on the agenda of financial regulators. In what follows, we explore the reasons behind this development.
    Date: 2013

This nep-pke issue is ©2013 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.