Volume IX Issue 2

Spring 2016


1. The case for increasing returns (2): the methods of planning horizons

Frederic Jennings Jr..
In neoclassical economics, substitution assumptions support equilibrium models in closed systems shunning interdependence. On these grounds an array of frames show outcomes as stable, efficient, unique and determinate. Heterodox economists say equilibrium models sidestep practical knowledge and the rich reality of economic behavior. Rigor or realism, mainstream or radical, ecological, institutional, socio-cultural: economics invites a wide diversity of assumptions, once short-term models of substitution are opened to question. The answers are blurred by applications; there is clarity in a simplicity shielded from mundane detail. This paper addresses the methodological impact of planning horizons, increasing returns and complementarity, and their proper representation in economic constructions. Horizonal economics can be construed as extending orthodox standards into a realm of time, but for its subtler ramifications. Increasing returns make our relations complementary and not substitutional, loosening the tight deductions from mainstream models of choice. The horizonal extension of our received theory of price applies time to cost and demand curves, showing Marshallian scissors (supply and demand) cut outward and downward with expanded horizons. Static conceptions appear in horizonal groups, suggesting complete theories of price should specify agents’ horizons, with no further radical impact: the trouble emerges with increasing returns and complementarity. Horizons stem […]

2. Poor countries and development: a critique of Nicole Hassoun and a defense of the argument for good institutional quality

Ronald Olufemi Badru.
If we agree that ‘institutions are the kinds of structures that matter most in the social realm: they make up the stuff of social life’ (Hodgson, 2006, p.2), and we also agree that they largely influence, either positively or negatively, even many of the decisions relative to our personal lives, then we should conclude that emphasis on quality institutions to a people should not be wished away. Drawing on the earlier stated, the present work critically responds to the position of Hassoun (2014) that making aid conditional on good institutional quality is not good for the poor. It may be true that giving aid to the poor without consideration of the quality status of their social institutions may serve their immediate purposes, but if the poor are not to be consigned and confined to the margins of perpetual dependence, then due attention should rather be shown to ensure better reforms for their institutions, given that quality institutions largely and positively influence and sustain, in spite of other considerations, human development in the final analysis.

3. Rawls and Piketty: the philosophical aspects of economic inequality

Goran Sunajko.
This paper discusses a key contemporary problem, that of inequality. Certainly, the most visible inequality today is economic inequality, which is not only a characteristic found today, but is also the result of a long historical development. The problem arises when inequality becomes artificial (produces itself) and thus becomes a matter of social sciences and humanities. At this point, the question of economic inequality becomes a non-economic issue and thus opens the possibility of formulating such principles that will be able to reduce the issue to a minimum. This paper discusses this possibility, while referring to Thomas Piketty's book on capital in relation to John Rawls's principles of justice to which Piketty refers to.

4. Slow living and the green economy

Diana-Eugenia Ioncică ; Eva-Cristina Petrescu.
The current paper explores the relationship between some relatively new concepts in the field of economics-slow living, slow food, slow writing and the green economy. The goal of the paper is twofolddiscussing the possibilities opened by these exciting new concepts, in terms of an increase in the quality of life combined with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, as well as ascertaining what the concepts may entail in the context in which the effects of the recent economic crisis may make green and slow living seem like a distant dream. It is this holistic view that we shall attempt to enlarge upon in the paper, with the avowed purpose of weighing out the possibilities presented in the complicated, crisis-fraught global context.

5. Review of Potrošačka kultura i konzumerizam [Consumer Culture and Consumerism], edited by Snježana Čolić, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, 2013, pb, ISBN 978-953-7964-00-9, 206 pages

Ana Maskalan.

6. Review of Dani Rodrik, Economics Rules: Why Economics Works, When It Fails, and How to Tell the Difference, Oxford University Press, 2015, hb, ISBN 978-0-19-873689-9, xi+253 pages

Dorin Iulian Chiriţoiu.

7. Review of J. E. King, Advanced Introduction to Post Keynesian Economics, Cheltenham (UK), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, pb, ISBN 978-1-78254-843-0, x + 139 pages

Valentin Cojanu.