nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
five papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Change in and Changing Economics By Davis, John B.
  2. Financialization Historically Contemplated By Tsaliki, Persefoni; Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
  3. Have We Passed Peak Capitalism? By Fix, Blair
  4. Book Launch Event: The Price of Peace by Zachary D. Carter By Zarak Jamal Khan
  5. Don't reduce Amartya Sen to a single identity! By Antoinette Baujard

  1. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: Change in economics has likely always been a subject of discussion in economics and political economy. That discussion may have languished in the first post-World War II decades when neoclassicism was ascendent and dominated economics, but the emergence of game theory, more recently behavioral economics, and a variety of other new fields and approaches in economics since the 1980s has re-invigorated interest in the subject so that now there are many views on it. Yet systematic investigation of what change in economics involves has advanced little. Change is clearly always on-going in any discipline, but when it is said there is or is not ‘change in economics’ something more significant beyond this is usually intended. How, then, can this more significant sort of change be identified and explained? I begin by discussing the issue of method for analyzing change in economics.
    Keywords: change, boundaries, interdisciplinary, core-periphery, research practices, world values survey, open-closed systems
    JEL: A12 A13 A14 B20 B41 B50
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Tsaliki, Persefoni; Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
    Abstract: This article examines the extent to which financialization is a new phase of capital accumulation characterized by its own economic laws in which the real (production) economy adjusts accordingly. In order to examine this hypothesis, we invoke the share of the financial sector in the GDP of the USA, as the best meaningful metric to approximate the expansion of the financialization over time. Our findings suggest that the financialization phenomena of the post-1982 years are comparable to those of the “roaring 1920s”. The observed differences are quantitative, in the main, and although they suggest the presence of regularities; nevertheless, they do not suggest an altogether different stage of a finance-led capitalism.
    Keywords: Financialization, profit rate, interest rate, long-cycles, financial fragility
    JEL: B50 G20 G30 N12 O15 O16
    Date: 2021–12–11
  3. By: Fix, Blair
    Abstract: Among leftists, predicting the end of capitalism is a favorite parlor game. For example, as a graduate student in the 2010s, I remember discovering the 1976 edition of Marx’s Capital and being struck by the introduction. Written by the Belgian Marxist Ernest Mandel, the foreword concluded that it was ‘most unlikely’ that capitalism would survive another half-century. This prediction (and many like it) did not age well. What capitalism’s critics often misunderstand is that social orders rarely ‘die’. More often, they fade into irrelevance. Just as no one can point to the end-date of feudalism, it seems unlikely that capitalism will have a decisive ‘finish’. But what it may have is a peak. The goal of this post is to chart the rise (and potential peak) of ‘capitalism’ … as I understand it. This caveat is key. To study a social system, we must first define it. To many people, capitalism is a ‘mode of production’ (a definition inherited from Marx). The view that I take here, however, is that capitalism is primarily an ideology — or what Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler call a ‘mode of power’. Capitalism is a set of ideas that justify the modern social order. Although there are many ways to chart the rise of capitalism, what interests me here is that it was the first major ideology to have spread during the era of mass publication. That means capitalism’s rise (and potential peak) should be visible in the word frequency of written language. For example, as capitalism spread, we’d expect that capitalist jargon — words like ‘market’ and ‘price’ — should become more common. And feudal jargon — words like ‘fief’ and ‘vassal’ — should become less common. Now, I’ve chosen these specific words as an illustration. But for my actual analysis, I do not ‘choose’ the jargon words. Instead, I choose a corpus of text that I believe encapsulates the ideology in question (capitalism or feudalism). And from there, I let the jargon of the text speak for itself. The basic idea is that jargon words are those that are both frequently used in a text corpus and overused relative to mainstream English. The first step of the analysis, then, is to select a corpus of ideological texts. To capture feudal ideology, I use a sample of 22 modern English bibles. I use modern translations because I don’t want text that contains archaic words (like ‘thou’). And I use the Bible because christian theology formed the backbone of European feudalism.1 To capture capitalist ideology, I use a sample of 43 introductory economics textbooks. My claim is that these textbooks deal mostly in capitalist metaphysics; they describe a fantasy world of self-equilibrating markets in which each person earns what they produce.2 With my sample of biblical and economics text, I first isolate the jargon words of each corpus. Then I use the Google English corpus to measure how the frequency of this jargon has changed over time. (As a consistency check, I also analyze the text in paper titles on the Sci-Hub database and book titles in Library Genesis.) I find that over the last several centuries, biblical jargon became less popular and was slowly replaced by economics jargon. I also find evidence that the popularity of economics language peaked during the 1980s, and has since declined. Ominously, this peak coincides with an uptick in the popularity of biblical language. In simple terms, it seems that we (anglophones) are in the midst of an ideological transition.
    Keywords: capitalism,economics,idelology,language,religion
    JEL: Z12 P16 Z13 Z1 A
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Zarak Jamal Khan (MPhil Scholar, PIDE)
    Abstract: Zachary D. Carter is a Writer in Residence with the Omidyar Network’s Reimagining Capitalism initiative. He spent 10 years as a senior reporter at HuffPost, where he covered economic policy and American politics. He is a frequent guest on cable news whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, The American Prospect and other outlets.
    Keywords: Book, The Price of Pease, Zachary D. Carter,
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Antoinette Baujard (UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne], GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper reviews Amartya's Sen autobiography, Home in the World. A Memoir (Penguin Press, published08/07/2021, 480 pages. ISBN: 9781846144868), focused on his thirty first years of life. I show that the book emphasizes how Sen values discussions and reason, the voice of each human being in their plurality, and their capacity to act in and on the world. I also support that, in this memoir, Sen succeeds in circumventing the standard misunderstandings of his major contributions, by taking seriously the different potential interpretations of the thinkers who influenced his line of thinking, and defending the one he considers valid. I illustrate this claim with five cases which, by highlighting his multiple identities, avoid associating Sen to a misguided tag.
    Keywords: Amartya Sen,Welfare,Discussion,Reason,Identities,Memoir
    Date: 2022–02

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