Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome

I study economics as a hobby. My interests lie in Post Keynesianism, (Old) Institutionalism, and related paradigms. These seem to me to be approaches for understanding actually existing economies.

The emphasis on this blog, however, is mainly critical of neoclassical and mainstream economics. I have been alternating numerical counter-examples with less mathematical posts. In any case, I have been documenting demonstrations of errors in mainstream economics. My chief inspiration here is the Cambridge-Italian economist Piero Sraffa.

In general, this blog is abstract, and I think I steer clear of commenting on practical politics of the day.

I've also started posting recipes for my own purposes. When I just follow a recipe in a cookbook, I'll only post a reminder that I like the recipe.

Comments Policy: I'm quite lax on enforcing any comments policy. I prefer those who post as anonymous (that is, without logging in) to sign their posts at least with a pseudonym. This will make conversations easier to conduct.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the futuristic aspect of your blooog. Dec 31 2007? God don't we all drop a brick on our foot once in a while.
Just joking. Have fun.

Student said...

Nice blog. Are you studying economics anywhere? Perhaps recieved your PhD and moved on to teaching?

Just wanting to know a little bit more about the man behind the posts. Keep up the good work!

Jorge Pareja said...

Dear Friend,
It seems to Me interesting that you try to look for subjects where neoclassical economy has faults.
I suggest to see the articles from Stepen Keen and of Ariel Rubinstein.
Greetings

Jorge Pareja

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks for the comments, Jorge. You, being bilingual are smarter than me, and I cannot read your blog.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I am in the acknowledgements to Keen's Debunking Economics. I have mentioned him on this blog (for example, here, here, and here).

One occasional commenter on this blog is enthusiastic about Rubinstein (for example, here) while another is not.

I still have lots of material among Sraffian economists to draw on for counter-examples to mainstream teaching. Ian Steedman is a particularly rich source. I drew on him, for example, here and have mentioned some more recents papers of his. Some of the latter are downloadable as working papers from Manchester Metropolitian University.

Tor Hershman said...

Is it just moi or does this post say 2009???
That's really lookin' ahead.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

alexmthomas said...

Interesting to see blogs which criticize mainstream economics.

Patch said...

Hey Rob,

just wanted to hint on this site: http://www.boeckler.de/85_91956.html

There you can download presentations and papers held/written by Arestis, Lavoie, Stockhammer and others during a Summer School in Berlin organized by the IMK (Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research), an institute founded and financed by the German labour unions. The papers/presentations are in English.

Patch said...

A hint once again:

http://www.boeckler.de/33_93110.html

Patch said...

Hi,


as you explain a lot of things with nice examples, I'd be grateful if you could have a look at Paul Davidson's usual example for explaining effective demand - the tomatoe farmer that he uses in "Financial Markets, Money and the Real World" and, if I remember correctly, in Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory. I just don't understand why the farmer doesn't raise his prices (but that of course would crash the diagram).

Robert Vienneau said...

Patch,

I did find the papers at the link you previously mentioned of interest.

Can you give a chapter or page number in Davidson's Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory for the tomato example? I happen to have been recently thinking of echoing his views in that book on the permanent income and lifecycle saving theories.

Patch said...

Hi,

you'll find the example on pages 20-22.

stock-in-sin said...

thanks for sharing ur idea and knowledge, it is good to read it =)

Patch said...

Hi Rob,


I just finished reading Pasinetti's

"Lectures on the Theory of Production" (New York: Colombia University Press and London: The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1977.).

It is a readable introduction of production price models and it gave me an idea of what actually is the difference between prices optimizing the use of endowments and production prices. But then again I found some problems and I thought I might ask you before I send an email to Pasinetti himself.

The most important problem is, how do the production models work if you don't have an endowment? If you need commodity A to produce commodity B AND VICE VERSA, you can't start off producing at all because you don't have the necessary A to produce B and vice versa. The second problem maybe allready is solved but I don't know: Can you use these models to say anything about natural ressources? These ressources are "given", but you don't have to use them up in the first periode so you still need an optimization I think.

Grupo Lujan-Circus said...

Dear Friend,

Congratulations, nice Blog.

There are many sites that have a Sraffa`s thougths linked with another theoretical strands like effective demand (Kalecki-Keynes, and chartalism.


http://www.franklinserrano.wordpress.com/

http://www.ie.ufrj.br/

http://www.uni-graz.at/heinz.kurz/kurz.html

http://www.economiaepolitica.it/

http://www.econ-pol.unisi.it/docenti/petri.html#pubonline


http://www.grupolujan-circus.blogspot.com/

Alejandro Fiorito

Yoyo_the_economist said...

Your interest has much in common with my research field. I am a Sraffian and works in the field of international trade theory.

You have cited several times Steedman and Metcalfe. They have worked on the open small country case. Ad a trade theory, this is not general enough. It cannot analyse the South-North problem, to cite an obvious example. The Ricardian trade theory should be extended to the many country case with the traded commodities across countries. As Sraffa named his major work Productions of commodities by means of commodities, the production is circular in its character and cannot be arranged linearly as it is assumed in the Austrian tradition. Heckscher-Ohlin theory also assumes this linearity, starting with the endowed production factors, then sometimes intermediates goods and final goods. This is completely inadequate as production structure. But the task to develop a trade theory with this circular structure is quite hard. Steedman and Metcalfe did not succeed in this attempt. I recently found the method how to overcome this difficulty. Please look into my paper: A New Construction of Ricardian Trade Theory—A Many-country, Many-commodity Case with Intermediate Goods and Choice of Production Techniques—
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/eier/3/2/141/_pdf/-char/ja/

Patch said...

Hi Rob,

I have just finished reading Lavoie's Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis. It is a very interesting book and hope that some day he'll publish a second edition (and maybe add things like stock-flow consistent modelling).

[By the way, if you have that book too: There seems to be a big mistake in formula 5.15 on page 234. Lavoie trys to maximize a function by setting the derivative with respect to labour input equal to zero even though the function was linear.]

Robert Vienneau said...

I have not read Lavoie's Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis.

Ziragt said...

Thanks for posting on the Mises blog. I would just like to point out that not all young Austrians are completely ignorant of the Cambridge controversies and their results.
I also wanted to mention that, independent of your work, I also came to the conclusion that Austrian business cycle theory is not strictly accurate, at least not in the general case. I think this directly follows from Lachmann's work, as well as some other writers. (By the way, I'm the anon from before who asked about Lachmann's festschrift)

rlabey said...

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Professional Management Education

Cushion said...

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Damien Eldridge said...

Dear Robert,
Have you read Aoki and Yoshikawa's "Reconstructing Macroeconomics"?

Robert Vienneau said...

Damien, I haven't read Aoki and Yoshikawa. In a recent thread on Crooked Timber, John C. Halasz recommended Peter Flaschel's The Macrodynamics of Capitalism, another interesting-looking book that I have not read.

Resume Writing Service said...

My friend suggested me to visit your blog. Very well explained. I would like to say that it is very interesting to read your blog.

Lord Keynes said...

Your blog is a great resource.

In a previous post. you refer to a paper you are trying to publish refuting Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Have you succeeded in publishing it?

I have blog with similar interests here:

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/

Jacob Richter said...

Since I couldn't post this comment in your 2008 blog on the Fundamental Marxian Theorem, I'll post it here:

It wasn't Michio Morishima who developed this, but Nobuo Okishio.

Robert Vienneau said...

My paper on the Austrian Business Cycle was recently rejected from another journal.

Thanks for the heads up, Jacob. I have been assigning the idea to Morishima for over a decade. I know of it from his 1970s work. I associate Okishio with the refutation of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. I suppose I ought to check this out and update my FAQ on the labor theory of value.

Julia Burger said...

I think the root of all economies, is natural resources, namely, oil. This is a good piece by Colin Campbell- a retired geologist. Of special interest are his economic predictions- they have been spot-on so far.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiJj06n58tU

Robert Vienneau said...

Julia, I agree that economies are embedded in a wider context, with ecology and energy being an important part of that context. I' only had a little to say about energy, for example, here.

elexerdelex said...

Sounds like an interesting blog...
Even tho modern day politics is something of interest to me...

Anonymous said...

New blog please link

http://andrewlainton.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/the-cracked-citadel-why-blog-on-economics/

UII Fans said...

Artikel yang menarik..
Salam dari sahabat di Jogja...^_^

Universitas Islam Indonesia
http://uii.ac.id/

Anonymous said...

I was just browsing the net and came across your blog..It seems to be very interesting... I'm also into economics by the way. Will bookmark your site to check on your latest updates.

yoetama said...

i found this blog from blogwalking, your hobby very interesting,hopefully be an inspiration to my life that are still not able to organize the economic life of personal

Gualra said...

Robert, sad news: Garegnani passed away.

Robert Vienneau said...

Gualra, thanks for the information. I'm sorry to hear of it. He certainly made an impact on economics, although not as big an impact as he deserved. I was looking forward to the publication of Sraffa's collected works - I believe Garegnani was working on editing them along with Heinz Kurz.

wheatgerm said...

this is awesome im joining

goodnews1948 said...

Nice blog.. ^0^
안녕하세요 홈페이지 잘 보고 갑니다

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXKV78VERio&feature=colike

Anonymous said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

I you want to know what's really wrong with neoclassical economics then this video will shock you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c4mvGekYZY

green investments said...

Definitely an issue with neo-classical economics

eel said...

Great work! im going to share in my blog list this insteresting place!

http://eleconomistalibre.blogspot.com.es/

Greetings!

Unlearningecon said...

Robert,

Just thought I'd let you know that Chrome is flagging your site as potentially infected by malware, citing www.deirdremccloskey.com as the source.

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks. I removed her from the blogroll, for what that's worth.

Article Tube said...

Thanks for the articles. I write original economic articles on my blog if you visit and comment I'd be so happy. http://articletube.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Is economics really only a hobby for you? You seem to know a lot.

A said...

Nice blogs, good issues raised, need tips and suggestions fpr mine: www.socialscience-economics.blogspot.co.uk thanks :)

Janne said...

Thank you Robert!A very interesting and nice blog!All the best to you!Cheers!

CMD said...

Robert,

How do you solve sraffas production with a surplus model. I can't seem to figure it out.

Robert Vienneau said...

I don't have handy a general write-up on the model from chapter 2 of Sraffa's book. I do have a write-up of the model from the first chapter, including a statement of a Perron-Frobenius theorem. And I have plenty of two or three good examples of the later models. Maybe you might find this spreadsheet of use.

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MrIlir said...

Economists don't know how to measure the true rate of economic growth, because they can't model the consumer's perspective on technological advancement. Alex Gheg has released a new framework that can solve this problem. The hidden thoughts and feelings of people can be indirectly measured using the very accurate internal body clock, that we all have. Pleasure contracts time in the human mind, and we can see how this changes our daily circadian rhythms. See some facts and be amazed. Quantity, quality, variety and convenience in one equation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6tFLGpcOpE

Anonymous said...

Robert

I'm looking for some critical feedback on what I hope is a new model of economics that can provide a theoretical basis for protectionism.

Please see the site rescuingeconomics.wordpress.com


thank you
Lincoln's Economics

Magpie said...

Robert,

I'm compiling a little list of resources for Marxian, radical, heterodox economists and for the general reader.

I included your name (and Vernengo's) in the list, as Sraffians.

You have plenty good stuff available here (and elsewhere, on the net), although it is a little scattered.

May I suggest you compile a list of those posts and material you consider key?

Then, I'd only have to add a link to your compilation.

It goes without saying, any suggestions you might have to my own list are most welcome.

Thanks.

Robert Vienneau said...

Let me think about it. That will take me some work. I realize that my labels to the right are not sufficient, but I did add two (Full Cost, Profile Of An Economist) over the last two days.

Magpie said...

Sure.

Like I said, if you know of something I should add to my own list, by all means...

Magpie said...

Vienneau:

Taylor and Francis website made available a series of papers on Joan Robinson and F.A. von Hayek:

http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/bes/great-economists/great-economists-hayek-and-robinson

(there's a Vernengo-Rochon paper among them)

You'll never guess what I found in one of the Taylor and Francis papers (Talking About Joan Robinson: Geoff Harcourt in Conversation with John King):

Harcourt: "And Joan, partly in retrospect, saw that the thrust of the attack of Imperfect Competition on laissez faire, and capitalism generally, was showing that it was a system of exploitation, because it discredited marginal productivity. As soon as you had imperfect competition, workers got paid less than the value of their marginal product." (page 34)

The only difference with what He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said is that the much maligned and ridiculed German Bearded One extended this conclusion to perfectly competitive markets.

kapil gera said...

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Cameron Murray said...

Robert,

I've tried a couple of times to email you, but it seem your spam filter is not happy with me. In any case, I wanted to let you know about a working paper I've released that offers a new theory of the firm.

To briefly summarise, when change the firm objective to rate-of-return-maximisation we generate predictions that are far more in keeping with the empirical record on firm behaviour (eg. the theory requires the existence of prices that are a mark-up over costs). Not only that, if we believe the finance guys, return maximisation is exactly what firms do.

The working paper is here and I've written a (rather long) overview of it in blog form here .

I hope this interests you and I'd appreciate very much any brief thoughts, comments and criticisms if you can spare the time. Also if you could share the article or blog with people who you think will find it interesting/relevant that would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance

Cameron

pqnelson said...

This preprint (http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7496) was recently posted on the arXiv about agent-based economics "deriving" macroeconomic principles; I'd be interested in your two cents...

Magpie said...

Vienneau

Off topic, but for a good reason: the first 10 volumes of MECW are copyrighted and a radical publisher, historically linked to the Communist Party of Britain is demanding the Marxists Internet Archive to remove that content from their website by April 30th, Labour Day’s eve:

http://crookedtimber.org/2014/04/24/karlo-marx-and-fredrich-engels-came-to-the-checkout-at-the-7-11/#more-32745
Click to EditDelete

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks for the comment, Magpie. When I transcribed one letter from Marx to Engels, I offered it to the MIA. They were conscious then of copyright issues.

Tomboktu said...

Your blog List seems to have changed to a list of RSS feeds or summat