Keynesianism, neoliberalism and the 'Dissemination' of Economic Ideas: That's the Way of the World.

It is often argued that in recent years the question of the 'dissemination' of economic knowledge has been increasingly addressed by historians of economics. However, as our buddy Tiago has noted on the previous version of this blog quite some time ago, historians seem to not really know what they're talking about when they talk about 'dissemination'. In fact, I would argue that most accounts of the history of science - and therefore, of economics - should deal with the question of dissemination, as science itself is "a form of communicative action" (Secord, 2004). Read more

A slipping taboo - The Economist profiles INET's Hong Kong conference

"HONG KONG is the gateway to the world’s most dynamic economy. It is an obvious place to go looking for some dynamic economic thinking. On April 4th-6th the city played host to the fourth meeting of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), an attempt to remake the economics discipline, financed by George Soros, a billionaire investor, among others. It was INET’S first big get-together in East Asia. Was it worth the trip? Read more

The Two Innovation Economies

Originally posted on Project Syndicate

HONG KONG – For 250 years, technological innovation has driven economic development. But the economics of innovation are very different for those at the frontier versus those who are followers striving to catch up. Read more

China's rebalancing, shadow banking and RMB internationalization in INET Hong Kong

Last week, Yang Le and I were fortunate to attend the INET annual planery conference in Hong Kong as a part of the young scholar group. As it did in Berlin, INET again invited many speakers who are among the wisest minds in the world and they shared with us a lot of insights. The difference of the HK conference and the Berlin one is that we had much more discussions on a variety aspects of China. Among the most concerned issues are China's growth under rebalancing, the shadow banking system and the future of Renminbi internationalization. I saw several shifts of those viewpoints in the HK conference and this is what I would like to write briefly about today. Read more

A new way of thinking in economics

Originally appeared in China Daily

What is the purpose of economics?

In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, much of the economics profession has failed to provide a convincing answer to that question. But for the field of economics this is a crucial, existential question, and one that economists must answer if they want to be relevant in arapidly changing world.

Voth vs. Ferguson: And How Austerity Leads to Worse Outcomes

At dinner yesterday Niall Ferguson made the argument that China (or the East) were perhaps no longer looking to how Western countries had built their social institutions and formed their empires, and were instead now doing their own thing as the Western approach was shown to be flawed. Hans-Joachim Voth pulled Ferguson up on this in a seeming contradiction, as Ferguson is apt to argue that the legacy of empire - particularly the British - is the basis of most of the good institutions in the lucky ex-British colonies. So which is it? Read more

Japan's Money Base Will Be 45% of GDP: US and UK is 19%-21%

Japan is going to double its money supply, according to today's front page of the Financial Times (5 April 2013), and a salient question might be what we should compare that to. It sounds like a lot, but is it?

Grabbing our trusty GDP yardstick, we grabbed some quick monetary base numbers from the US, UK and Japan, doubled today's Japanese figure, picked up the exchange rate from Google, and projected a 2% growth rate on the Japanes GDP figures. And the answer is yes, it is a big deal: Read more

I like IKE

Imperfect knowledge economics, or IKE to their friends, is popular with all the popular kids. George Soros, Bill Janeway and Anatole Kaletsky were in attendance as Roman Frydman and Michael Goldberg - or more properly, their students - showed the latest work in progress. Read more

Where the World Economic Association Started

Having lunch next to Edward Fullbrook he told me the story of how the post-autistic economic review got its start, leading to what we today know as the World Economic Association and all the great work coming from this community.

Back in 1999 Edward was at a conference in Cambridge and talked to attendees about the French movement to bring economics back to a more realistic starting point, and the great success the French students had in getting media attention. Attendees were not, as it turned out, convinced that this was even happening. Not to be dissuaded, Edward set up an anonymous e-mail address after the conference and wrote an anonymous e-mail to the 99 conference attendees informing them again about what had happened in France. Read more