Understanding harm

This is the second major section of harmfuleconomics.org. It presents articles that explain harm and how a productive + harmful society works.

The principal article is Understanding harm.

Heterodox Economics and the Economics of Harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues June 2022 (15 page PDF download) Much of heterodox economics, such as institutional, feminist, and conflict economics, has focused on major areas of harm, developing and strengthening the analysis of harm. The two costs have been terminologies which differ among the various approaches and the (unmet) need to bring the approaches together in an overall view of harm. Heterodox economics (and the relatively few orthodox authors) are on the right track in understanding productive + harmful economic systems while orthodox economics, as shown by its textbooks, is not. Yet the wrong approach is the dominant one. Will the truth win out?

Orthodox Economics and the Economics of Harm describes how orthodox economics does not understand harm. Worthwhile reading for students and teachers of economics. Published in the October 2021 Journal of Economic Issues.

The economics of harm and productive + harmful systems explains harm as it appears on the website. The two major sections are ‘Obtaining income through harm,’ describing types of harm. and ‘Staying in power—Struggle for control,’ describing the operation of a productive + harmful economic and social system. (See the topics in the category listing on the right-hand side of each page.)

Measuring harm This section presents measurements of the types of harm included in our website. It will show how various types of harm (and inequality, which harm plays an essential role in causing) have been measured. These measurements of harm do not have the same methodology by any means. This section will only give an approximate idea of harm and its components, one that certainly could be refined and discussed. What will emerge is at least a first look at the issue and a better perspective on its importance.

Damaging effects of harmful economic systems on the ordinary person in developing countries are explained in Harmful Economic Systems and Economic Development ( Ch. 2.6 in Imperiled Economies, edited by Paul Cooney, et al., Dollars and Sense 2018 ) Also see Vested Interests and the Common People in Developing Countries: Understanding Oppressive Societies and Their Effects published in the Journal of Economic Issues, and How ordinary people in developing countries are harmed by the political-economic system

Heterodox economics and other websites for understanding harm Important organizations that present views alternative to those of orthodox economics.