• Cocktail and Dinner Party Economics
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  • Dinner Party Economics

Raising Keynes

But apart from this contemporary mood, the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood.  Taken from The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money pg 383 by John Maynard Keynes As far as I am concerned what you are about to read can only be described (in the British vernacular) as ‘brilliant’.  Brian manages to bring to life the times and importance of Keynes in his introduction to The General Theory taught as a 4th year seminar course at the University of Guelph.  It should be read by all who love or hate Keynesian economics. (Those who don’t really care are of course exempt.)  If you are interested at all, you will find this text a pleasure to read. Evie Adomait See SSRN downloads for all of his lectures

Lectures on Keynes’ General Theory by Professor Brian Ferguson winter 2013

Lecture 1: Chapter One, Background and Historical Setting Introduction:  John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Prices[1] is one of those rare books which actually deserves to be labeled revolutionary.  Regardless of one’s take on Keynesian macroeconomics, the publication of the General Theory marked a major change in the way economists thought about macroeconomic issues.  Indeed, Keynes can be credited with (or slammed for) creating the concept of macroeconomics.  Arguably, prior to the General Theory, most professional economists thought of the macroeconomy in a general equilibrium sense, as an aggregate of a large number of individual markets, and they assumed that the analysis of how individual markets behaved could be carried over pretty much unchanged to the collection of markets which constituted the economy as a whole.  There was, it seemed, no need to think of the economy as anything other than the sum of its parts, and an understanding of how those parts worked was sufficient to understand how the economy as a whole worked.  After the General Theory, that no longer held.  Economists started to think in terms of aggregates.

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Filling in the Gaps

Fighting devastating ignorance with fact-based worldviews everyone can understand. Gapminder Foundation was founded in Stockholm by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling on February 25, 2005.  Gapminder Facts can tell stories and this is a terrific example of that statement.  You could spend hours exploring the Gapminder site because it is rich in animated graphs and videos about issues related to the health and wealth of nations.  Moreover, you can go back at least one a year to find out how the world has changed.  I do this every winter when I teach introductory macroeconomics–I get the updated map of the world to show my class.  My basic message is this:  It is good to have a high level of income because it is so linked to living long and prosperous. The role of economic growth cannot be over estimated when we explore the idea of standard of living.  Moreover it is not a zero sum game.  The poorest of the poor can be made better off and we in the richest nations wouldn’t notice a drop in how we live. After all, every country started out in the poor and sick camp. Fortunately–for those of us who live in the developed world–we escaped much of our historical misery. I believe we should do everything we can to help prosperity go global.

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The Multiplicity of Unemployment

I came across this from Statcan and it struck me that unemployment has its reasons.    Notice that new immigrants without education have an unemployment rate of 21.2% whereas Canadian born university grads have an unemployment rate of 3.1%.  All the while the average is a complex 6%.  I think this shows that the solutions to unemployment require a targeted rather than blanket approach.  For one thing we should make sure that children of immigrants go to university.  This is definitely the doorway out of poverty for the whole family and it has a way of averaging things out.  

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