History

The Institute for New Economic Thinking takes a broad view of economic research and supports it in many ways: through its main grant program, through working groups it organizes, and via conferences, panels, and other smaller gatherings of scholars across the globe.

Institute scholars normally publish their work in journals and books. While many – but far from all – of this work appears in working papers sponsored by the Institute and other leading research forums, the Institute also attempts to make its research results accessible to a wider public on its website. Below is a sampling of interviews featuring Institute scholars explaining the significance of their research in non-technical terms.

Thomas Scheiding: A history of scholarly communication in economics

We invited Thomas Scheiding from Cardinal Stritch University to review what we know about the scholarly communication process in economics. Tom has written forcefully on the history and economics of economic literature (see for instance, his 2009 JEM article). His latest is a study of the scholarly communication process in physics (an article in Studies).

From Innovation to Financial Market Failure: An Anatomy of 18th Century Mortgage-Backed Securities

Project Leader: 

This project studies securitization in the 18th century. In this era, mortgage-backed securities were a financial innovation, which created a bubble both in financial and real estate markets. This study aims to explore this innovation in order to understand the effects of securitization on financial and real markets.

 

Economics, Psychology and the Joyless Economy: The Biography of Tibor Scitovsky

Project Leader: 

The purpose of this project is to write an intellectual biography of the Hungarian economist Tibor Scitovsky (1910-2002). Scitovsky is known primarily for his pathbreaking 1976 book, The Joyless Economy, which offered a pioneering critique of both the standard neoclassical account of rational choice and postwar North American consumer society. 

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.

Read more

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