nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2015‒11‒07
eight papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Lawson on Veblen on Social Ontology By Davis, John B.
  2. The Economic Origins Of Neoliberism By İlkben Akansel
  3. Understading Neoliberal Politics By The Mediation Of Institutional Economics By İlkben Akansel
  4. Political Economy of Middle-Income Trap Concept By Semih Gökatalay
  5. Capital, labour, democracy and the end of capitalism By Annamaria Artner
  6. Value, periphery and crisis: Argentina 1910-2011 By Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
  7. Towards a new model of state-led development in Brazil (?) By Judit Ricz
  8. Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century By W. Walker Hanlon

  1. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: This paper discusses Lawson’s use of Veblen’s concept of ‘neoclassical economics’ and argument that the category of neoclassical economics should be jettisoned on the grounds that it obfuscates effective critique of mainstream economics. The paper links Lawson’s critique of closed systems and Veblen’s cumulative causation view by offering a reflexivity, feedback loop formulation of the latter aimed at overcoming the pre-Socratic dichotomy between Heraclitian and Parmenidean ontological thinking. The paper then reviews what this implies for three key social ontology doctrines: social reality as processual and highly transient; emergence and the appearance of novelty; the internal relatedness of social reality. Final remarks address the use of the ‘neoclassical economics’ concept.
    Keywords: neoclassical economics, Veblen, Lawson, closed systems, cumulative causation, reflexivity
    JEL: B13 B41 B52
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: İlkben Akansel (Artvin Coruh University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Neoliberalism is a notion which cannot be described definitively. Nevertheless, it is a notion affecting economics system in terms of its components. Taking effects since 1970, premises justifying freedom and social efficiency can only be provided by private ownership and free market; therefore, it opposes state intervention. Broadly, arguments of neoliberalism differentiate from liberal arguments, which justify classical liberalism based upon individual and firm, whereas its failure in practice causes many critical arguments. The basis of these failures is upon debating implementations of economics system that is carried on the core of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism can basically be divided into three eras: Chicago School in 1970’s opposing Keynesian economics, end of 1980’s Washington Consensus and since mid-1990’s the era of re-discussing the regulatory role of state. This study aims to examine these three economics era which are the basis of neoliberalism. Examining the features applied for each three political economics, the failure points of neoliberal discourse can be visualized. Consequently, analysis of the economics origin of neoliberal discourse will enlighten the resolution of recent economic crisis.
    Keywords: neoliberalism, Chicago School, Keynesian Economics, Washington Consensus, free market, state regulator
    JEL: P1
    Date: 2015
  3. By: İlkben Akansel (Artvin Coruh University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Neoliberalism, which cannot be described by a certain rule, includes a wide range of perspective. Therefore, it is a highly effective notion in terms of economics and politics. This efficiency has a mutual meaning in socio-cultural area. However, it is obvious that the most effective area of neoliberal politics is economics, because intended efficiency in politics and socio-cultural levels are provided through applicable economics politics. Although it has some certain notions derived from all the economics premises, neoliberalism fundamentally forces financial market orders and thus requires the use of state power systematically. Institutional economics is the economics stream established by Thorstein Veblen, linking man’s nature of society with economics affected by Darwin’s ideas of the origins of species. Thus, institutional economics claims that the economics behavior cannot be thought separately from all institutional forms such as social, cultural and politics of the society. So, economics can vary between societies, depending on time and place. This study focuses on two main premises: Putting forward the relationship between mainstream economics (neoclassical economics) and neoliberal economics politics, and the criticism of institutional economics on this. Firstly, relationship between neoliberalism and mainstream economics will be analyzed, then the nature of institutional economics will be examined especially in terms of the thoughts of its founder Thorstein Veblen and finally relationship between neoliberalism and institutional economics will be discussed. By the mediation of new aspects provided by institutional economics to neoliberal economics politics, the applications of economics can be better maintained, and this can create more fair steps towards economics politics.
    Keywords: Neoliberalism, Institutional Economics, Thorstein Veblen, Neoclassical Economics, Mainstream Economics
    JEL: P1
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Semih Gökatalay (Middle East Tecnical University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Middle-income trap (MIT), being a popular concept in development economics, examines why and how middle income level countries fail to share high income level countries’ path in the long-run. Benefiting from income-based measurements and certain productive mechanisms of developing countries, this concept has been used by scholars to provide possible solutions for countries which are considered as being stuck in this trap. However, performance of institutions and, more importantly, political economy of the concept, to some degree, have been neglected by these studies. This paper, thus, argues that, in addition to macroeconomic conditions of MIT countries, political institutions of them, being inclusive or exclusive, might play a central role in determining one country’s position in the trap. In this study, first, a broad definition of MIT concept is provided. Then, institutional performances of upper-middle income countries are presented by giving weight to certain indices. In the final part, it is argued that inability of certain institutions might disable MIT countries to escape from this trap.
    Keywords: Middle Income Trap, Political Economy, Upper Middle Income Countries
    JEL: O10 O17 O57
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Annamaria Artner (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Since 1989, due to historical developments and the works of theorists such as Francis Fukuyama, authoritative sources have claimed that the combination of a “free market economy” and “liberal democracy built on equal rights” results in the most developed form of human society. Taking into consideration that development is driven by contradictions, the above premise is true if it is accepted that no contradictions exist within or between a free market economy and liberal democracy. If, however, such contradictions do exist, the potential development of human society cannot be said to ultimately conclude with capitalism. Therefore, democratic capitalism may be the most developed and final form of capitalism, but not that of human society in general. This essay aims to clarify the meanings of free market and democracy, and their relationship. Based on the general and specific definitions of democracy, it distinguishes between the concepts of de jure and de facto equality, and analyses the impact of the most important working mechanism of a market economy – competition – on manifold inequalities. It discusses the real inequalities manifested in income and the ownership of the means of production, and also the inequalities within capital, and between capital and wage labour. By reflecting upon these inequalities, the study looks at how free market forces work towards the erosion of democracy and constrain the practical utilization of democratic institutions.
    Keywords: wage labour, inequality, democracy, market economy, return on capital, competitiveness
    JEL: E22 E24 F01 F50 F52
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
    Abstract: In this paper we present a long-term study on the process of accumulation in Argentina over the past century. Explanations of the Argentine historical development are hegemonized by both the neoclassical, politically identified with the conservatives, and the Keynesian school, the latter related with Peronism and other particular ideologies. However, we will develop an alternative explanation deeply focused in Marxist political economy, empirical research and the country economic and political history over the past century. In the first section we will introduce some theoretical aspects aiming to a deeper acknowledge of some particularities in peripheral countries and their relation to Marxist political economy. In the second section, we establish a concrete analysis of the accumulation process in historical perspective. In the third section, we present the long run results of our estimates for Argentina in the period 1910-2011.
    Keywords: Argentina - Value - Accumulation - Rate of profit
    JEL: E22 E23 E32 N16 P16
    Date: 2015–08
  7. By: Judit Ricz (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: The paper investigates recent changes and evolutions of the state-led developmental approach in Brazil. Changes since the Millennium, documented among others by Draibe (2007), Wylde (2012), Kerstenetzky (2014) and Amann – Barrientos (2014) have resulted in a new policy approach, which might serve with some lessons for other developing countries, as well as for the revision of the classic developmental state concept. Using institutional and political economy approach to analyse the evolution of the Brazilian developmental state we argue that under the Lula administration (2003-2010) a special economic policy mix has emerged and institutionalized, which though maintaining some continuities to both the old Brazilian developmental state and neoliberal reform period, can be regarded as a new model of state-led development in Brazil.
    Keywords: developmental state, Brazil, new developmentalism, political economy policy
    JEL: I38 O10 O54
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: W. Walker Hanlon
    Abstract: Mortality was extremely high in the industrial cities of the 19th century, but little is known about the role played by pollution in generating this pattern, due largely to a lack of direct pollution measures. I overcome this problem by combining data on the local composition of industries in Britain with information on the intensity with which industries used polluting inputs. Using this new measure, I show that pollution had a strong impact on mortality as far back as the 1850s. Industrial pollution explains 30-40% of the relationship between mortality and population density in 1851-60, and nearly 60% of this relationship in 1900. Growing industrial coal use from 1851-1900 reduced life expectancy by at least 0.57 years. A back-of-the envelope estimate suggests that the value of this loss of life, expressed as a one-time cost, was equal to at least 0.33-1.00 of annual GDP in 1900. Overall, these results show that industrial pollution was a major cause of mortality in the 19th century, particularly in urban areas, and that industrial growth during this period came at a substantial cost to health.
    JEL: I10 N33 N53 Q53
    Date: 2015–10

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