Har vi en marknadsekonomi eller en organisationsekonomi?

The economies of modern industrialized society can more appropriately be labeled organizational economies than market economies. Thus, even marketdriven capitalist economies need a theory of organizations as much as they need a theory of markets. The attempts of the new institutional economics to explain organizational behavior solely in terms of agency, asymmetric information, transaction costs, opportunism, and other concepts drawn from neoclassical economics ignore key organizational mechanisms like authority, identification, and coordination, and hence are seriously incomplete.

Och varför är detta viktigt att förstå som nationalekonom? Jo för att som Herbert Simon fortsätter och avslutar sin artikel med:

Good answers to the policy questions that face all industrialized societies depend on having empirically sound theories of the behavior of large organizations. Such theories cannot be developed from the armchair. They call for fact-gathering that will carry researchers deep into the green areas, the organizations, that dominate the terrain of our economic systems.

Herbert Simon

Annonser

Jim Stanford om argumenten för sänkta löner

Argument en alltför ofta känner igen från debatten i Sverige, men håller de verkligen när en tänker igenom dem?


World Economics Associations manifest för bl.a ett pluralistiskt ekonomiskt tänkande

År 2011 startades World Economics Association (WEA) för att skapa ett internationell utbyte mellan ekonomer och fylla ut avsaknaden av en förening som är just internationell, inkluderande, pluralistisk och professionell. Som en reaktion på att de redan existerande ekonomföreningarna som oftast är nationellt begränsade ämnar WEA sig istället åt att skapa en internationell förening, samtidigt som de förespråkar en pluralism i tillvägagångssättet inom den ekonomiska analysen. I citatet nedan från deras manifest visas just de målen föreningen strävar efter att uppnå:

  1. To plurality. The Association will encourage the free exploration of economic reality from any perspective that adds to the sum of our understanding. To this end it advocates plurality of thought, method and philosophy.
  2. To competence. The Association accepts the public perception that competence levels in segments of the economics profession were found wanting by recent events. So as to better serve society in the future, the Association will encourage critical thought, development of new ideas, empirically based rigor and higher standards of scholarship.
  3. To reality and relevance. The Association will promote economics’ engagement with the real world so as to confront, explain, and make tractable economic phenomena. In this context it will also encourage economics to give active consideration to its history, its methodology, its philosophy and its ethics.
  4. To diversity. Both the membership and governance of the Association are specifically constituted in order to embrace all forms of diversity within its membership.
  5. To openness. The Association intends to ensure that all its processes of publication, discussion, meeting and association are transparent and open to input from all its members. To this end the WEA will constitute itself on the internet and use digital technologies wherever possible, including online conferencing and virtual publication.
  6. To outreach. The Association recognizes the valuable contributions to economic thought that are made by researchers and thinkers outside the main body of economics. The WEA will encourage such people to become members and add their insights to our collective learning.
  7. To ethical conduct. The Association will establish a committee to draw up a code of ethics.
  8. To global democracy. The Association will be democratically structured so as not to allow its domination by one country or one continent.

World Economics Association

För den som är intresserad av pluralism är deras hemsida ännu en informationskälla och det är även en förening som ekonomer intresserade av pluralism kan organisera sig inom. Kolla exempelvis in deras länklista (längre ned på sidan under grupplänkarna) med samlade texter från studentrörelsen för ett förnyande av ekonomiutbildningen och texter från ekonomistudenter media.


Komiker om marknadsföring


Måste se för nationalekonomistudenter

I den tredje upplagan av Paul Krugmans och Robin Wells’s lärobok Microeconomics som används för studenter på den första grundkursen i nationalekonomi på Stockholms Universitets påstås detsamma, här är några utvalda citat som visar just det:

The market demand curve is the horizontal sum of the individual demand curves of all consumers in that market. (s.73)

the main reason for studying consumer behavior is to go behind the market demand curve-to explain how the utility-maximizing behavior of individual consumers leads to the downward slope of the market demand curve.(s.282)

So when the price of a good increases, an individual will normally consume less of that good and more of other goods. Correspondingly, when the price of a good decreases, an individual will normally consume more of that good and less of other goods. This explains why the individual demand curve, which relates an individual’s consumption of a good to the price of that good, normally slopes downward-that is, it obeys the law of demand. And since-as we learned in Chapter 3-the market demand curve is the horizontal sum of all the individual demand curves of consumers, it, too, will slope downward.
(s.283)

for the great majority of goods and services, the income effect is not important and has no significant effect on individual consumption. So most market demand curves slope downward solely because of the substitution effect – end of story.
(s.284)


Nationalekonomi och tvärvetenskaplighet

Ett problem i detta sammanhang som jag pekat på och som OJS inte berör är ett ekonomiämnet i en nyligen utförd studie visar sig vara den mest isolationistiska disciplinen inom det samhällsvetenskapliga området. Medan ämnen som statsvetenskap, sociologi och filosofi ofta tar intryck av och förhåller sig till ekonomisk forskning råder det omvända förhållandet inom ekonomiämnet. Surveydata visar dessutom att ekonomer är betydligt mera skeptiska till interdisciplinära forskningssamarbeten än historiker, sociologer, statsvetare och psykologer. Ekonomiämnets självvalda isolationism innebär att möjligheten för ekonomistudenter att få intryck av betydelsen av etik och sociala normer för att förhindra ”free-riding” från discipliner som sociologi, statsvetenskap och filosofi, där dessa frågor väger tungt, måste antas vara starkt begränsad

Bo Rothstein

Statsvetaren Bo Rothstein i sin kommentar längre ned på sidan nämner bristen på tvärvetenskapligt samarbete hos ekonomer och inställningen till det inom ämnet, något som även studentrörelser kallar på för vad de saknar inom ämnet. Exempelvis ISIPE:s öppna brev för pluralism i ekonomiutbildningarna efterfrågar just att:

economics education should include interdisciplinary approaches and allow students to engage with other social sciences and the humanities. Economics is a social science; complex economic phenomena can seldom be understood if presented in a vacuum, removed from their sociological, political, and historical contexts. To properly discuss economic policy, students should understand the broader social impacts and moral implications of economic decisions.

International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics


Bretton Woods systemet och demokrati

A core principle was constraints on capital. Governments were permitted to control capital flight, a principle that still is in the IMF rules, though ignored. And currencies were regulated within a narrow band. The motives were twofold. The first was economic: Keynes and White believed that these measures would stimulate economic growth and trade. The second was sociopolitical: both understood that unless governments are able to regulate capital, they will not be able to carry out social democratic (welfare state) measures. These had enormous support among populations that had been radicalized by the Great Depression and the anti-fascist war (World War II).

The basis for the sociopolitical motive is straightforward. Free capital movement establishes what international economists have called a “virtual parliament” of investors and lenders, who carry out a “moment-by-moment referendum” on government policies. The “virtual parliaments” can “vote” against these policies if it considers them irrational: enacted for the benefit of people, rather than profit for concentrated private power. They can “vote” by capital flight, attacks on currencies, and other devices offered by financial liberalization. Keynes considered the most important achievement of Bretton Woods to be establishment of the right of governments to restrict capital movement.

Noam Chomsky