Where’s the Barefoot Revolution in Economics?

November 6, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Yesterday I was reminded of what got me interested in economics. I’ll preface this by saying that I make my living as a substitute teacher in Toronto. It’s not glamorous, but it pays the bills. It gives me time to do research from outside academia. When I’m … Read more

The Growth of Hierarchy and the Death of the Free Market

October 29, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Do you believe in free markets? Do you think that unfettered competition is the best way to organize society? If so, this post is intended to shake your faith. No, I’m not going to argue that free markets are bad. Instead, I’m going to show you some … Read more

Energy and the Size Distribution of Firms

October 20, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. In this post, I’m going to return to the relation between energy and institution size. When we left off last time (in Groping in the Dark), I had described my struggle to understand how the size of firms and governments changes with energy use. It took me … Read more

Visualizing Power-Law Distributions

October 15, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. In this post we’re going to take a journey into the world of power-law distributions. Power laws pop up again and again in my research. But I’ve never taken the time to discuss what makes them so weird. This post will be a little ‘power-law primer’ that … Read more

Agent-Based Models and the Ghost in the Machine

October 7, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. In the opening post of this blog, I described my ‘top-down’ approach to studying society. This means studying groups of people without trying to reduce everything to the actions of individuals. It’s not that I think individual actions are unimportant. Of course they are important. The problem … Read more

Groping in the Dark: The Untold Side of Research

October 2, 2019

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. There is an exciting side of blogging that I want to explore here. Blogging can tell the story behind research. This is something you don’t get in journals. Most scientific articles obey a formula that goes like this: Here is the question I asked. Here is how … Read more

Video: Can Capitalists Afford Economic Growth? An Animation

September 15, 2019

Elvire Thouvenot has produced an animated video that summarizes the key points of Bichler and Nitzan’s 2014 paper “Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Three Views on Economic Policy in Times of Crisis.” This paper was first printed in Review of Capital as Power. It was reprinted in Philosophers for Change. Watch the video below:    

Real GDP: The Flawed Metric at the Heart of Macroeconomics

May 1, 2019

Blair Fix, Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler The study of economic growth is central to macroeconomics. More than anything else, macroeconomists are concerned with finding policies that encourage growth. And by ‘growth’, they mean the ­growth of real GDP. This measure has become so central to macroeconomics that few economists question its validity. Our intention … Read more

On the Power Theory of Capitalism and Differential Accumulation

April 19, 2019

*** By Ken Zimmerman This piece was originally posted on the Real-World Economics Review Blog here and here. *** Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan are Israeli political economists. Together they’ve created a thought-provoking power theory of capitalism and theory of differential accumulation. The theory is not “pie-in-the-sky,” but is based in their analysis of the … Read more

Capitalism’s Deniers

January 8, 2019

Originally published at Real World Economics Review Blog. from Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan A new, capitalism-denying book is on the shelves, and it makes a stunning discovery: ‘Capitalism without competition is not capitalism’! Distortions: Capitalism Denied Capitalist crisis, like climate change, tends to breed ‘capitalism deniers’. The problem, argue the deniers, lies not in capitalism but in … Read more

2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize

November 30, 2018

2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize First Prize $1000 Second Prize $500 Third Prize $300 http://www.recasp.com/essay-prize The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize on the subject of capital as power.  The best paper will receive a prize of $1000. A prize of $500 will be awarded to the second best contribution, while … Read more

Francis’ Updated Buy-to-Build Indicator

September 5, 2018

Joe Francis, who written on the buy-to-build indicator before, has updated his data for the USA and the UK. Below is his post entitled ‘An Open Source Update of the Buy-to-Build Indicator’: The tendency toward buying other companies more than building new productive capacity continues in the United States In a past life I had … Read more