September 2011

Katharina Pistor - What Finance (and Economics) Can Learn from Law

About the interview

Without law and legal institutions, financial markets won't work. That's what economists discovered about 15 years ago, when former socialist countries turned towards capitalism. But economists still conceive of law too narrowly, mainly as a means to reduce transaction costs and protect investors. Katharina Pistor convenes scholars from across disciplines -- law, economics, and sociology -- to re-theorize the relationship between law and finance, from the ground up. The rational autonomous actor meets the socially embedded actor -- this is new economic thinking. Read more

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Katharina Pistor - What Finance (and Economics) Can Learn from Law

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Katharina Pistor - What Finance (and Economics) Can Learn from Law. Read more

READING ROOM: Kevin O’Rourke on the importance of history in economics

"The Kids" recently published videos asking dozen economists what is progress in economics, and also what is a good model in economics. Kevin O’Rourke posted a short piece about the importance of history that connects to the videos. An excerpt: Read more

On the Playground: What is a good model in economics?

What is a good model in economics? “The Kids” asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said:

Models in Economics Read more

READING ROOM: Adam Curtis on the history of economic think tanks in the UK

"A story about the rise of the modern Think Tank and how in a very strange way they have made thinking impossible." That's the opening sentence of a long blog post by Adam Curtis, a British documentary film maker, about economic thinking behind Conservative Party policies in the UK. Curtis spices up his text with fascinating video footage of key figures, including Friedrich Hayek.

Gerald Epstein - Banks: How Big Is too Big?

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Gerald Epstein - Banks: How Big Is too Big? Read more

Gerald Epstein - Banks: How Big Is too Big?

About the Interview

We all know it: The financial sector is bloated and banks are too big to fail. But just how bloated is it, and how much should it be shrunk? Gerald Epstein and his collaborator James Crotty use both micro and macro data to deliver the numbers. They build on James Tobin's concept of functional efficiency to separate the financial sector's beneficial activities (mobilizing savings, financing investment, and reducing risk) from its socially inefficient activities (gambling, and distorting the political process). An empirical study that is full of institutional detail and addresses the elephant in the room: big banks and regulatory capture -- this is new economic thinking. Read more

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On the Playground: What is progress in economics?

When is one theory better than the other? What is progress in economics? “The Kids” asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said. Read more

Philip Mirowski - Why Is There a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics?

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Philip Mirowski - Why Is There a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics? Read more

Philip Mirowski - Why Is There a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics?

About the Interview

The Nobel Memorial Prize defines high achievement in economics, and it validates the discipline's claim for scientific authority. And yet, historically, it can be understood as a reflection of domestic policy conflicts in Sweden. This, Philip Mirowski would say, is but one example of the multifaceted nature of history. He and his team investigate how the Bank of Sweden's goal of political independence wound up elevating the status of neoclassical thinking within the economics profession. Writing the history of the Nobel Memorial Prize to tease out the influence of economic doctrines on policy norms in recent decades -- this is new economic thinking. Read more

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