April 29, 2015 Leave a comment
“The market cannot be usefully understood as separate from society” : Social Economics, Social Economists and the Real World – by Wilfred Dolfsma
April 28, 2015 Leave a comment
One of the limited presentations of the breadth that is still required in economics
Originally posted on Edward Elgar Publishing BLOG:
Social Economics understands the economy as value-laden – laden with values not just of a ‘bourgeois’ kind, such as prudence and thrift. The values of prudence and thrift are values that are consistent with a view of the market as an means for actors of all stripes to maximize whatever it is that they want to maximize. But, Dr Wilfred Dolfsma explains, social economics acknowledges that there are more values than these that imbue the economy with meaning.
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April 23, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on An Unusual Economist:
One of the dominant issues of this election campaign is the fitness of the contending leaders to manage the economy. Quite rightly people complain of this being a boring election campaign, as the big issues that concern us are largely ignored. Given the superficial nature of the campaign what is never mentioned is the incompetence politicians of all parties have demonstrated when managing the economy. Although my essay is about the UK, the issue of economic mismanagement is a characteristic of all governments of the Western world, there are no politicians of the calibre of Franklin Roosevelt or George Marshall. Instead we have a Rand Paul, David Cameron and Angela Merkel none of whom have an understanding of the current economic crisis.
When I was a teenager the recurrent problem was the balance of payments deficit, there were continuing runs on the pound sterling and the government was constantly having…
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April 15, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Quartz:
A revolution has come to Europe–the revolution of negative interest rates. 10-year Swiss government bonds now have a negative yield. Short-term funds kept at the Swiss National Bank now pay -.75%: that is, private banks have to pay .75% per year to the Swiss National Bank to tend their Swiss francs. Denmark now pays -.75% for short-term funds while Sweden is at -.25% and the Eurozone is at -.2%. How low can interest rates go?
Ben Bernanke has started a blog, now that (in his words) he is free from “being put under the microscope by Fed watchers.” In the first few posts, he got into a debate with Larry Summers about what it means that interest rates are so low. Paul Krugman joined in with his own post “Liquidity Traps, Local and Global.” These three—a former Fed Chairman, a brilliant former Treasury Secretary…
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April 7, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Abolitionist Dynamite :
This article caught my eye. The author, Greg Ferenstein, concludes “it might be wiser to redirect anger towards those who get in the way of new housing, rather than rely on taxes to solve our problems.” Yes, and no.
Back up. What’s the general idea? Well, Matthew Rognlie found that “recent trends in both capital wealth and income are driven almost entirely by housing.” This is not entirely in contrast to the findings of Piketty, rather derived from Piketty’s data: “Also using Piketty and Zucman (2013)’s data, I find that a single component of the capital stock—housing—accounts for nearly 100% of the long-term increase in the capital/income ratio, and more than 100% of the long-term increase in the net capital share of income.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Individuals who are forced to spend almost all of their income on housing can’t save any money. We’re talking about people forced…
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April 7, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Health Business Blog:
When Americans talk, pharmaceutical companies listen. And what they’ve heard is that initiatives to contain or regulate medical costs get labeled as “rationing,” a word with very un-American connotations.
While politicians wring their hands, pricing strategists at pharma and biotech companies take action by charging high and rising prices for products for life-threatening illnesses. Cancer is Exhibit A, with many drugs costing more than $100,000 per year of treatment. A JAMA Oncologypaper reviewed wholesale prices for cancer drugs approved over the past five years and found that prices are not correlated with a drug’s novelty or efficacy.
The authors conclude:
“Our results suggest that current pricing models are not rational but simply reflect what the market will bear.”
Now it’s possible that there is a greater correlation between actual negotiated prices and novelty or efficacy that isn’t showing up in the researchers’ data on wholesale prices. Still, the main conclusions…
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