Category Archives: Economics (Critiques of)

Critiques of orthodox economics 2022

Manifold exploitations: toward an intersectional political economy Nancy Folbre Review of Social Economy August 2020 (access to full article)
The distinction between oppression and exploitation is overstated in traditional Marxian theory. Defined in terms of economic advantages gained from unfair bargaining power, exploitation can take manifold forms, characterized by intersections, overlaps, and interactions within complex hierarchical systems in which actors often find themselves in somewhat contradictory positions.

Orthodox Economics and the Economics of Harm


Orthodox Economics and the Economics of Harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues September 2021 Access to 17 page PDF file of the pre-publication article below.
Orthodox economics understands productive activity, which obtains income by benefiting others, but does not have an adequate conception of activity which obtains income by harming others. There is a broad and important range of activities which obtain income by harming others. This paper considers the analysis of some of these including conflict theory, rent-seeking, corruption, harm of workers, consumers, and nature, economic historians’ consideration of extractive political and economic institutions, and the varieties of discrimination. The omission of harm is evident in undergraduate textbooks in microeconomics and public economics.   The fundamental political economic system of past and present, a productive plus harmful one, is not being taught to economics students.

[The link for those with access to the Journal of Economic Issues. If you do not have access to JEI but would like a final published version of the article, email your request to harmfuleconomics@gmail.com]

Critiques of orthodox economics 2021

Orthodox economics and the economics of harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues September 2021 (full text of pre-publication copy.)
Orthodox economics understands productive activity, which obtains income by benefiting others, but does not have an adequate conception of activity which obtains income by harming others. There is a broad and important range of activities which obtain income by harming others. This paper considers the analysis of some of these including conflict theory, rent-seeking, corruption, harm of workers, consumers, and nature, economic historians’ consideration of extractive political and economic institutions, and the varieties of discrimination. The omission of harm is evident in undergraduate textbooks in microeconomics and public economics.   The fundamental political economic system of past and present, a productive plus harmful one, is not being taught to economics students. [The link for those with access to the Journal of Economic Issues. If you do not have access to JEI but need a final published version of the article, email your request to harmfuleconomics@gmail.com]

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Critiques of orthodox economics 2020

Economist Dennis Snower says economics nears a new paradigm Dennis Snower Evonomics 2020

Why do economists have trouble understanding racialized inequalities? Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven and Surbhi Kesar Institute for New Economic Thinking August 3, 2020
Mainstream economics ignores historical and structural factors by design.

Economics is a disgrace Claudia Sahm Macromom July 29, 2020

Economics for Black lives Darrick Hamilton and Jesse A. Myerson Dissent June 29, 2020.
Discussion of the pandemic, the uprisings, and the future through the lens of stratification economics.

Whitewashing capitalism Tim Koechlin Common Dreams June 16, 2020
How ECON 100 obscures the relationships among capitalism, racism and racial inequality.

Principles of Radical Political Economics RPE Principles Working Group of the URPE Steering Committee URPE 2020

Economics is a failing discipline doing great harm – so let’s rethink it Andrew Simms The Guardian August 3, 2019

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses, a group of free-thinking Economists and students challenged the current dogma in standard economics and investigated the shaky foundations of the neoclassical faith, at a meeting in London at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Credit: IIPP

Standard economics: 50+ years of resisting new ideas

Lane Vanderslice

The Union for Radical Political Economics is 50 this year, and a notice has just been sent out about a 50th anniversary celebration at the University of Massachusetts .  URPE was started in 1968 because of great frustration with standard economics, which  had limited theories (neglecting power, for one thing) and confined to a narrow range of problems which did not include such things as imperialism, the military industrial complex and discrimination. I was one of the group of economics graduate students at the University of Michigan, that, after several years of working for change at the U.M. economics department, sent out a call for a new organization embodying different principles to economics departments across the United States.  The response was great, and URPE was begun.  (See the 1968 URPE Prospectus.)

URPE and the organizations and publications that preceded and came after its establishment, have come to be known as heterodox, for expressing a variety of analyses and analytical frameworks such as Marxism and Institutional Economics not present in standard economics.  This significant group has permitted much useful analysis to be presented, which otherwise would have been stifled by standard economic journals.

Alas,  the divide between standard and heterodox economics continues today. Gary Dimski Continue reading