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4 posts from October 2015


Best of Review of Social Economy: Free access through the end of 2015

Best of ROSERoutledge Economics is to share a new free collection of articles from Review of Social Economy, highlighting some of the best content the journal has to offer.

For over seventy years, Review of Social Economy has published high-quality peer-reviewed work on the many relationships between social values and economics. To celebrate the best that the journal has to offer, the publishing team at Routledge, who work with ASE on the journals, are sharing a free collection of articles from Review of Social Economy. Several of the papers in the ‘Best of’ collection were chosen by Co-Editor Robert McMaster, and others have been selected due to their popularity - they are either some of the most read papers in the journal this year, or are some of the most cited pieces of work.

You can read and download these papers for free until the end of 2015.

Visit the collection here: http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/bes/best-of-review-of-social-economy-2015.


Job opening with focus on heterodox economics at University of Denver

This job listing may be of interest to social economists and other heterodox economists. From the listing (emphasis added):

The Department of Economics seeks to fill a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor starting September 2016. Candidates must have a PhD or be ABD in Economics or a related discipline. If ABD, the degree must be completed no later than August 2017. We are seeking a heterodox economist doing applied research with a U.S. policy focus preferably in the areas of Public Economics or Urban and Regional Economics who can teach microeconomics and econometrics. Candidates must show promise of distinction in research and publications in these fields and must also show promise of excellent teaching ability in the areas they offer, as well as in our introductory courses “Macro- and Microeconomics I: History and Theories” and/or “Macro- and Microeconomics II: Theories and Policies.” Teaching these courses requires familiarity with economic history, the history of economic thought, philosophy of social science, and heterodox as well as mainstream perspectives on economic theory and policy. Candidates must demonstrate ability to integrate content and issues relating to, and to work effectively with, ethnically diverse populations. The teaching load is two 4-hour courses per quarter.


Julie A. Nelson awarded the 2015 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics

NelsonThe Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF), in partnership with the Cambridge Journal of Economics, is pleased to announce the award of the 2015 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics to Professor Julie A. Nelson, Department Chair and Professor of Economics at the College of Liberal Arts, UMASS, Boston.

Professor Nelson’s paper, "Husbandry: a (feminist) reclamation of masculine responsibility for care," won the prize of CHF 7,000 and acceptance for publication in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, one of the world’s leading economics journals. The central thesis of the paper is the reclamation of the medieval word "husbandry" to promote a masculine-associated practice of care. Recalling the agrarian, pastoral roots of the word "husbandry" to describe cultivation and management, Professor Nelson elegantly juxtaposes this icon of masculinity with today’s "incentivised" CEO, an image she argues is harmful and uncaring.

Judged by a panel of experts to be intellectually radical, orthogonal to current debates, and articulating a strong, feminist critique of a mainstream economics which has forgotten its ethical history, the foundation has the privilege to reproduce the paper on its website, in full.

Read the winning essay online at http://www.isrf.org/funding-opportunities/essay- competitions/economics-2015/

In partnership with Organization Studies, the ISRF is now accepting submissions for the 2016 ISRF Essay Prize in Organisation Studies, on the topic "Autonomy and Organisation." For more information, visit http://www.isrf.org/funding-opportunities/essay-competitions/


Irene van Staveren shows the value of introducing alternative economic thinking to students

Irene bookI am currently teaching with my own new textbook Economics after the Crisis. I make use of blended learning techniques such as quizzes, flipping the classroom with YouTube videos with my slide shows and voice-over, and visual one-page summaries of each chapter on Facebook page of the book. This all frees up lots of time for classroom discussions. In this blog I would like to share a few of these discussions with you.

Student A, from the UK, asks why Margaret Thatcher was so much in favour of markets but did not want the government to regulate markets to ensure fair competition. Others seemed equally puzzled: if markets have a tendency to lead to oligopolies, they move away from the ideal of full competition, and hence, they need the state to ensure that it does not happen. Of course, they are right. Not bad for students of an introductory course. It is, of course, the same issue that Joan Robinson addressed when analysing real-world markets. My answer, though, is not Post-Keynesian but social economic. The tendency of markets to allow, or even support, winners over losers to accumulate market shares, through mergers and acquisitions, lobbying, and explicit or implicit price agreements, is enabled by a dominant social norm among economists as well as policy makers that markets are good and the states are bad, when it comes to efficiency and wellbeing and growth. This leads the discussion towards the dominant policy paradigm of neoliberalism in the world since Thatcher and Reagan.

EC Matrix CH 01[1]The students had to write a mini-essay about the dominant policy debate in their countries. Here is what student B, from Mexico, answered. The indigenous people aligned in the Zapatista movement regard nature and earth as a mother. Hence, the farmers are in a caring relationship with the land and for this reason resist production for commercial firms and the market beyond their own community. Only by producing for their own community they can maintain this relationship with the mother. They therefore also resist the state, which offers to provide social security. The Zapatista farmers understand that by accepting this, they are drawn into the national and international market economy, which will undermine their caring relationship with mother earth.

I found this a nice example of how local communities resist not just neoliberalism but even the state in a neoliberal policy environment—their distrust is most likely justified.

Student C, from Indonesia, offered a very different example, but also from a social economics perspective. He argued for keeping the fuel subsidy for the poor, whereas neoliberal policy makers want to abolish the fuel subsidy. His argument is that fuel is a key commodity for the poor and the subsidy helps them to purchase this (for example, fuel for cooking and transport). Here, it is the inequality and poverty argument that was used from social economics, to support a redistributive policy. Even when it may not be friendly to mother earth...

My students' feedback teaches me that even though it is not easy to teach four economic theories at the introductory level, they quickly see the relevance of it for their own economic context. If only to be able to see alternatives to dominant policies, rightly or wrongly.

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IreneIrene van Staveren is professor of Pluralist Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Thomas Divine award by the Association of Social Economics.