Economic concepts and theories shape may aspects of our lives, yet most citizens have little knowledge of economics, which constrains their ability to fully understand and evaluate many of the big issues of our age.
This six week course explains the big ideas in economics.
1) Economics is unique in the social sciences for being characterized by a dominant orthodoxy and the institutional marginalization of alternative approaches. This lecture explains the nature of this orthodoxy, with a keen eye to both its usefulness and its limitations.
2) This lecture is an introduction to macroeconomics and the ideas of J M Keynes. While it is often claimed that Keynes ideas have been absorbed intomainstream economics, it will be shown in this lecture that his most important insights remain either largely ignored or totally distorted.
3) This lecture examines the nature of growth from a Social Structures of Accumulation perspective, seeking to understand growth and decline in the global economy.
4) This lecture surveys the many schools of economics that make up modern political economy: institutionalism and evolutionary economics; Post-Keynesianism; Marxism; feminist economics; ecological economics and Austrian economics. Note: Due to technical difficulties, the audio in this recording is of poor quality for the first 3 and a half minutes, but improves significantly. Hang in there.
5) What sort of political, social and economic systems are appropriate for the 21st century? What sort of economy can address problems of environmental constraint and increasing inequality and lead to a more flourishing and cohesive society? Is it a case of refining existing economic and political institutions or is more comprehensive change required?
6) In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis there has been a renewed interest in the work of Hyman Minsky. This lecture explain Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis.