Agent-Based Models and the Ghost in the Machine

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 […]

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Real GDP: The Flawed Metric at the Heart of Macroeconomics

ABSTRACT 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 here is to do just that. […]

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Howard, 'Craftwashing in the U.S. Beer Industry'

ABSTRACT 1) Background: Big brewers, which have experienced declining sales for their beer brands in the last decade, have been accused of “craftwashing” by some craft brewers and their aficionados—they define craftwashing as big brewers (>6 million barrels per year) taking advantage of the increasing sales of craft beer by emulating these products or by […]

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Third Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

ABSTRACT Existing theories of capitalism, mainstream as well as heterodox, view capitalism as a mode of production and consumption. The purpose of this ongoing speaker series is to interrogate capitalism as a mode of power. The presentations offer a power theory of personal income distribution (Blair Fix, 2:30-5:30pm, October 17, 2017), explore the power to […]

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Holman and McMahon, 'From Power over Creation to the Power of Creation'

ABSTRACT This article is a critical investigation and application of the aesthetic theory of Cornelius Castoriadis, one of the most important 20th-century theorists of radical democracy. We outline Castoriadis’s thoughts on autonomy, the social-historical nature of Being, and creation — key elements that inform his model of democratic culture. We then develop a Castoriadian critique […]

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'Is the Power of Mass Culture Profitable?', Public Lecture by James McMahon

This presentation will examine how and why political economic theories of mass culture have accumulated, but not settled, methodological issues about the meaning of value and the nature of productivity. Labour is certainly an important factor to any comprehensive study of capitalist mass culture, but it is our assumptions about economic productivity and not the […]

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Park, Hyeng-Joon, ‘Korea’s Post-1997 Restructuring’ Winner of the RRPE Annual Best Paper Award for 2016

*** Winner of the RRPE Annual Best Paper Award for 2016 *** ABSTRACT This paper is a postprint of an article published by the Review of Radical Political Economics (0486613415594147, first published on August 20, 2015 as doi:10.1177/0486613415594147).] This paper aims to transcend current debates on Korea’s post-1997 restructuring, which rely on a dichotomy between […]

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'From Colonialism to Climate Change: The Power to Externalize', Public Lecture by D.T. Cochrane

The history of capitalism is a history of externalization. While benefits were tallied, costs were routinely excluded from accounts. In this presentation I examine the history of externalization as a power process. A history of brutality and destruction marketed as innovation and efficiency, externalization has been the shadowy counterpart to accumulation. From colonialism to climate […]

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No. 2017/04: Bichler and Nitzan, 'Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research'

During the late 1980s, we printed a series of working papers, offering a new approach to the political economy of Israel and wars in the Middle East. Our approach in these papers rested on three new concepts. It started by identifying the Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition – an alliance of armament firms, oil companies and financial institutions […]

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No. 2017/03: Fix, 'Evidence for a Power Theory of Personal Income Distribution'

This paper proposes a new ‘power theory’ of personal income distribution. Contrary to the standard assumption that income is proportional to productivity, I hypothesize that income is most strongly determined by social power, as indicated by one’s position within an institutional hierarchy. While many theorists have proposed a connection between personal income and power, this paper is the […]

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Bichler and Nitzan, Supelano, Un Modelo CcP Del Mercado De Valores (A CasP Model of the Stock Market)

SPANISH ABSTRACT La mayoría de las explicaciones de las alzas y bajas del mercado de valores se basan en la comparación de la lógica “fundamental” subyacente de la economía con los factores exógenos que supuestamente la distorsionan. Este artículo presenta un modelo radicalmente distinto, y examina el mercado de valores desde la perspectiva del poder […]

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