History

Macroeconomics in Perspective

The Myth of Maximizing Shareholder Value

In 2010, the 500 largest companies in the United States, otherwise known as The Fortune 500, generated $10.7 trillion in sales, reaped a whopping $702 billion in profits, and employed 24.9 million people around the world.

Historically this has been good news. After all, when these corporations have invested in the productive capabilities of their U.S. employees, Americans have typically enjoyed plentiful well paying and stable jobs. That was the case a half century ago.

Unfortunately, as Bill Lazonick points out in the interview below, it’s not the case today. Read more

Mature history of economics

In the past decade, the volume of literature in the history of economics has been of 500 articles and just under 50 books a year. The graph below traces the count in two year intervals (articles left axis, books right axis). The absolute volume is stable but given the growth of economic literature in the period, stable might be rebranded as static.

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Do social movements create new ideas?

The short answer is yes. For the long answer I will make you sit through seven paragraphs. Read more

Economic theory declassified?

So, most Nobel Prize exegetes went a long way, this week, toward explaining that asset pricing is not primarily born out of theoretical reflection but out of prize-deserving empirical work.John Cochrane, for instance, writes about efficient markets that: Read more

Guy Numa "The Financial Crisis Five Years Later: The Role of Banking"

Present day puzzlements shed their complexity when Guy Numa in this essay draws on some age old distinctions borrowed from Jean-Baptiste Say. Numa is a INET Research Fellow who specializes in the History of Economic Thought and Industrial Organization.

Five years ago Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy marking the unofficial start of the latest financial crisis. Several commentators argued that the key to understanding the root cause of the crisis lies in the partial repeal of the Glass–Steagall provisions that occurred in the late 1990s. The provisions restricted commercial banks from participating in the investment banking business and therefore institutionalized a de facto separation of the two types of institutions. Read more

A Short History of China’s Doubtful GDP

It is no secret that the quality of Chinese statistics, especially GDP, is far from perfect. Chinese GDP’s lack of volatility often looks surreal.

Along with many other China analysts, I often feel frustrated by this. Perhaps I feel even more strongly because it is somehow embarrassing when foreign investors and scholars always ask me how authentic my country’s data is. Read more

Orville Schell: Wealth and Power - China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century

Welcome to our new video series called “New Economic Thinking.” The series will feature dozens of conversations with leading economists on the most important issues facing economics and the global economy today. Read more

Rejuvenation: An Excerpt from “Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century”

The following is an excerpt from the book, Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty First Century, which comes out tomorrow, July 16th. Written by Orville Schell, Director of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations, and John Delury, the book provides a panoramic narrative of China's rise to prominence  as seen through the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists, and leaders, whose contributions helped create modern China. Read more

Let Them Eat Credit: Has Financial Capitalism Failed the World?

Did the financial crisis of 2008 represent a failure of the capitalist system?

That crucial question was in the air when Institute for New Economic Thinking Senior Fellow Lord Adair Turner spoke in May at a special Head to Head debate hosted by Al Jazeera at England’s legendary Oxford Union. Read more