Blogs

Self-Control and Public Pensions

It’s November. Outside there is nothing but grey skies and days are so short that you benefit from a little daylight. It seems that you have been working forever without a vacation. So, the idea that you might want to reward yourself with a vacation somewhere warm crosses your mind. After all, you deserve it. Suddenly you imagine yourself on the beach, tropical music playing in the background, sipping pina coladas. It seems perfect. Read more

Letters at 3AM: That Word 'Oligarchy'

Oligarchy is upon us, claw and beak, and has been for some time

Originally posted by the Austin Chronicle Friday, June 27, 2014 Read more

Letters at 3am: Oligarchy Blues

Without fair elections and a viable legislative process at federal and state levels, the republic no longer exists

Originally posted by the Austin Chronicle Friday, June 27, 2014 Read more

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to Open Major Conference

Vince Cable, Andy Haldane and Adair Turner are among the keynote speakers at a major international conference challenging conventional thinking about the role of the state in driving the innovation needed for sustainable, inclusive growth.

HES 2014: It made a happy man very old!

This year, the History of Economics Society (HES) meeting was organized at the University of Quebec at Montreal. The meeting was, on the whole, a nice affair, there were plenty of interesting sessions, I reconvened with old friends and was able to present there my latest work and receive constructive comments. Read more

ECB’s Coeure Supports Student Curriculum Reform Movement

The global student movement to transform the economics curriculum received some unexpected high-level support this week from Benoit Coeure, a member of the Executive Board of the Europen Central Bank.

In remarks Tuesday at a panel discussion held by the ECB’s Macro-Prudential Network, Coeure said, “The typical economics curriculum tends to emphasize the frictionless benchmark more than the realistic variants. Shifting the academic focus to a world with frictions would have a welcome impact on teaching, allowing central banks to hire from a pool of young economists better equipped with methods and tools to address policy challenges.” Read more

The Nature of Invention

The Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford researchers and collaborators data mine 200 years of US Patent Office records to uncover the true nature of innovation.
 

Inequality and the Future of Capitalism

The Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) organises its 18th annual conference on Inequality and the Future of Capitalism with introductory lectures on heterodox economics for graduate students. Read more

Why Standard Macro Models Fail During Crises

David Hendry and Grayham Mizon show why the models used by many policymakers perform so poorly in the face of uncertainty
 
The standard macroeconomic model used by most central banks and other policymakers are "dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models" or "DSGE" as they are known (economists have a knack for catchy branding).  There has been much discussion and debate about why these models performed so poorly during the 2008 financial crisis.  Not only did these models fail to anticipate the crisis, but during the crisis itself - when they were most needed by policymakers - they often failed to give useful or correct advice.