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.


Game Theory: Too Much and Too Little?

In introducing game theory (in chapters 7-9), MWG build upon the theory of rational choice by individual agents, developed previously in the book to attempt to analyze (describe, explain, and even predict?) the interactions of such agents as well as the outcomes to which they give rise.   In previous chapters, MWG discuss interactions only in the form of the arms-length interactions of numerous firms and consumers in specific markets (e.g. under  ‘perfect competition’, in chapters 3 and 5). Read more

Matheus Grasselli: How Advanced Mathematics Can Support New Economic Thinking

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

Great Hospitality or Chance to Innovate?

some personal touches to hospitality at the INET conference, although I feel for the people who have been holding that sign all day.

with thanks to an anonymous commenter for pointing this out, although they might just have run out of poster stands.

Changing of the Guard? - INET and FGI Press Conference in Hong Kong

Rob Johnson (Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking), Andrew Sheng (President of the Fung Global Institute), and Yu Yongding (INET Advisory Board member and Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at CASS) speak at a press conference on April 3 before INET's "Changing of the Guard?" conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hong Kong. Read more

I Have to Act Like an Adult in Hong Kong

The INET conference in Hong Kong is serious business. Students will be wearing suits for the first time since their cousin's wedding only to bump into senior public servants with buffed cuff-links who in turn are mingling with billionaires and Nobel Prize winners. It's seriously adult stuff.

It's just a shame that I will probably be too giddy to notice. In fairness I will try not to gush at people; like I may have done with Axel Leijonhufvud last year, or Richard Koo, or Robert Skidelsky, or... well... that's not really the point. Read more

Digitally Tracking Technologies and Their Effects Across Time and Space

Project Leader: 

This project uses information from digitized Google books and library catalogues to create new measures of technological innovation and diffusion for OECD countries from 1850 to the present. Once completed, the new series will be used, first, to map the waves of innovation over time and space, second, to estimate the economic impact of the technologies, third, to plot technological diffusion both within and across countries, and, fourth, to re-examine the nature and economic consequences of general purpose technologies. The results will further our understanding of business cycles and  the contribution  of technical change to growth and to international productivity and income differentials.

Rethinking Expectations: The Way Forward for Macroeconomics

INET is pleased to announce that Roman Frydman, Chair of INET’s Program on Imperfect Knowledge Economics, has published a book with Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel laureate and Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, Rethinking Expectations: The Way Forward for Macroeconomics (Princeton University Press). Read more

The Theory of the Firm: Language, Model and Reality

In a previous post we queried whether the theory of the consumer as developed in the first three chapters of Mas-Colell, Whinston and Green (and indeed other comparable texts) provides anything by way of content beyond what is implied by the abstract description of consumers as agents who are maximizing something.  [We did not discuss chapter four, on aggregation of demand, to which we may return later].  As we noted then, a comparable point can be made about the theory of the firm. Read more