Frederic S. Lee (1949-2014): A Tribute

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by Ioana Negru Frederic Sterling Lee passed away on October 23, 2014, having been diagnosed with stage 4- lung-cancer earlier this year. The heterodox community has lost a prominent economist and scholar as well as a supportive colleague and mentor for younger generations of heterodox economists. In “How I became a Heterodox economist” (http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/cv/predestine/), Fred Lee explains how he was predestined to become a dissenting economist. The family backgrounds of both his parents together with his father’s ...

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Uncalculated Risks

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by Vicki Zhang The recent financial crisis has re-opened discussions among economists regarding the epistemology and validity of orthodox economic theories being taught in universities. Consequently, some economics departments, after many decades of focusing on mathematical drilling, started to reintroduce pluralistic economic theories - largely in the form of courses on economic history and thought. However, the same intellectual inquiries have not occurred in specialized undergraduate finance programmes. As someone who teaches undergra...

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November Started Hot in Greece

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by George Labrinidis A huge demonstration took place in Athens on the 1st of November. Given that demonstrations are not uncommon in Greece (20,120 recorded demonstrations between May 2010 and March 2014), one might question the significance of this one. I would like to argue that this demonstration was special. To begin with, it is an initiative of PAME (All Workers Militant Front) that is supported by hundreds of unions (over 1000 unions signed the call to demonstrate and declared participation). PAME (http://pamehellas.gr/index.php/e...

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The IMF and South Africa: Old Vinegar in Old Bottles

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by Ben Fine Over the period of neoliberalism, the motivation underpinning IMF policy advice has gone through three phases. The first, lasting from the early 1990s, was to promote global capital in general as much as possible with global finance in particular to the fore and never mind the negative and dysfunctional consequences of the spin-offs in terms of fiscal austerity, high interest rates, free capital movements, economic and social wage repression, rising unemployment, inequality and poverty, privatisation, and so on. The second ...

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Economics of the 1%: How to Deconstruct Mainstream Theory

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by John Weeks For many years I asked myself, why do so many well-informed people profess ignorance of simple aspects of our economy? It took me decades to realize that the answer to this question lies in great part in the answer to a second, why do students of mainstream economics graduate knowing almost nothing about the real economy, yet consider themselves budding experts in the field? The answers to these questions are similar and simple. They motivate my book. Mainstream economists have been extraordinarily successful in indoctri...

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An interview with Steve Keen

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 conducted by Ewa Karwowski Ewa Karwowski: You recently joined Kingston University as the Head of the Economics Department. What are your first impressions of the department? Steve Keen: The Department has a strong heterodox orientation with people like Engelbert Stockhammer, Paul Auerbach and Julian Wells. There already is a range of staff, which is inclined in that direction. It’s a very friendly Department and it also has a Dean who is aware of the philosophical divides in economics, which is an advantage. EK: As you mentioned, ...

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The Return of the Primitive

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by Phil Armstrong (Association for Heterodox Economics) The following is an extract from a speech made by Nicholas Kaldor in the House of Lords on 18 March 1981; “The Economics of the Primitive The belief that public expenditure must be cut in order to balance the budget, which is clearly held passionately by Mrs Thatcher and her immediate associates, derives from an anthropomorphic conception of economics. Primitive religions are anthropomorphic. They believe in gods which resemble human beings in physical shape and character. Mrs ...

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IIPPE Training Workshops

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 by Simon Mohun, Serap Saritas and Elisa van Waeyenberge IIPPE began running Training Workshops in June 2012 (60 registrations) and has (by October 2014) run seven others. The first three - in June 2012 and March 2013, both in London running over two days, and a one day event in July 2013 in The Hague the day before the IIPPE annual conference – have been described in previous newsletters. This report covers the Workshops in November 2013, March 2014, June 2014 and September 2014. Our fourth Training Workshop was a one-day event on ...

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Teaching Political Economy: Some personal reflections

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 I am a new lecturer, currently in my second year of teaching. I work in an institution that has traditionally created space for the discussion of different approaches to international development, but with standard mainstream economics (micro/macro/econometrics etc) taught in all other modules. Whilst I do not face the institutional challenges that many colleagues do in terms of censorship over the introduction of different economic theories into my teaching, the current design of the curriculum posed some challenges over how exactly to go ...

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Another Successful Annual Conference

IIPPE in Brief Issue No. 12 IPPE’s 5th International Conference in Political Economy that took place 16-18 September 2014 at was a great success. The University of Naples L’Orientale hosted some 260 participants from 38 different countries and 5 continents. A diverse range of papers were presented in 71 Panels that ran across the 3 days of the conference. Each day of the conference concluded with a plenary session pertaining to the nature and prospects of the crisis and the possibilities of alternatives. The plenary speakers included prominent academics and ...

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