SCEPA Blog

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New School Economics Professor Sanjay Reddy is offering a free online course in microeconomics in collaboration with the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). Titled, "Advanced Microeconomics for the Critical Mind," the class will transcend the narrow and technical nature of modern microeconomics to present a holistic survey of the discipline. Professor Reddy will engage students in a wide range of topics to help them better understand the foundations and implications of modern microeconomic theory. You can watch a preview of the course material.

Professor Reddy received his PhD from Harvard University in 2000. His research focuses on development economics, international economics, and economic philosophy. Teaching Assistant Raphaele Chappe received her LLM from New York University and came to The New School after eight years as an attorney in the financial services industry.

Classes begin October 3rd. The course is free and registration is open to anyone interested.

Teresa Ghilarducci, economist and director of The New School’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab), and Hamilton “Tony” James, president of Blackstone, have combined their academic and business expertise to advance a powerful reform idea—Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs). Outlined in their new book, Rescuing Retirement, GRAs are individual retirement accounts that would provide universal coverage, low fees, and professional investment management.

 

HowellSCEPA Economist David Howell has an article in The American Prospect magazine featuring his research with New School doctoral student Kea Fielder and CUNY Professor Stephanie Luce.

The article argues for reframing the minimum wage debate. Instead of worrying about losing low-paying, high turnover jobs, the focus should be on creating jobs with living wages.

Howell leads SCEPA’s Growth and Jobs project, funded by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, where he seeks to answer the question “what happened to shared growth?” Since the 1980s, U.S. economic growth failed to produce enough jobs, especially “decent jobs.” To understand wage inequality and unshared productivity growth in the United States, Howell focuses on how institutions affect labor market outcomes. His work compares the United States with Canada, Australia, Germany, and France to understand how the distribution and growth of decent jobs compare by economic sector across countries.

Edward WolffEdward Wolff, an economist at New York University (NYU) will present his latest paper, “U.S. Pensions in the 2000’s: The Lost Decade.” His work examines trends in pension, total wealth, and wealth inequality between 1986 and 2010, a period during which 401(k) plans largely displaced traditional defined benefit retirement plans in the private sector.

11:00am, Friday, October 14th
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Wolff Conference room 1103
New York, NY
RSVP

The Political Economics of Aging speaker series is a forum for academics and practitioners to share and engage in cutting edge research in social policy and the political economy of aging. The series is designed to forge interdisciplinary connections and examine how to progressively manage an aging society. The series is sponsored by SCEPA's Retirement Equity Lab, led by economists and retirement experts Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony Webb.

The event is free and open to the public.

Financial DeepeningNew School Economics PhD Aleksandr Gevorkyan has a new book, co-edited with Otaviano Canuto, titled “Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets Current Perils and Future Dawns

The book focuses on how small and often overlooked developing economies can achieve sustainable development as they join global financial markets. It features contributions by several current and former NSSR Econ Dept students:

  1. Chapter 1: Emerging Markets and the Post-2008 World
    Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Otaviano Canuto
  2. Chapter 3: Interest Rates, Terms of Trade, and Currency Crises: Are We on the Verge of a New Crisis in the Periphery?
    Nathaniel Cline, Matías Vernengo
  3. Chapter 9: Determinants of Nonperforming Loans in Guyana
    Tarron Khemraj, Sukrishnalall Pasha
  4. Chapter 10: Financial Flows and Productivity in Eastern Europe: Implications for Growth and Policy
    Lucas Bernard, Unurjargal Nyambuu
  5. Chapter 11: The Changing Character of Financial Flows to Sub-Saharan Africa
    Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven

BecchioSCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Giandomenica Becchio, Professor of Economics and Statistics, University of Torino, for a talk titled "Gender and Feminist Economics from a Historical Perspective"

September 27th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

FoleySCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Duncan Foley, Leo Model Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research, for a talk titled "The Promises and Pitfalls of Thesis Research for Students and Advisors"

October 4th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

Barkley RosserSCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2013 Seminar Series Host

Barkley Rosser, Professor of Economics, James Madison University, for a talk titled "Complexity and Institutional Evolution."

October 11th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

GuySCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Guy Standing, Professor at SOAS, University of London, for a talk titled "The Corruption of Capitalism"

November 1st, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

RohitSCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Rohit Azad, Visiting Fullbright Scholar at The New School and Assistant Professor at CESP, for a talk titled "The Corruption of Capitalism"

November 8th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

Alan KirmanSCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Alan Kirman, Professeur emerite a Aix-Marseille Universite, Directeur d'etudes a l'EHESS, Membre de l'lUF, for a talk titled "The Crisis in Economic Theory"

November 29th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

Teresa GhilarducciSCEPA and The New School Economics Department's Fall 2016 Seminar Series Host

Teresa Ghilarducci, Bernard and Irene Schwartz Professor of Economics and Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, for a talk titled "Do Older Workers Lower the Wages of Younger Workers?  The Political Economy of Aging"

December 13th, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Room 1009

Bina AgarwalInstitutions embody the “rules of the game in a society,” according to Nobel Laureate Douglas North. These humanly devised constraints shape people’s interactions – political, social and economic – and establish a stable social structure. But what if the rules are deeply unequal, devised largely by the powerful? And is stability which entrenches inequality even desirable?

Noted economist Bina Agarwal’s lecture will demonstrate how women face deep inequalities in rules and norms, which, in turn, create severe inequalities in their access to both private and public property. Based on her research, she challenges standard economic analysis to show how these inequalities undermine both economic efficiency and social justice. She also outlines pathways to change, such as by enhancing women’s bargaining power in multiple arenas: the family, community, markets, and state.

Agarwal is an award-winning author whose most recent three volume compendium, “Gender Challenges,” unravels the nature of gender inequality in multiple institutions: those governing agriculture, property, and the environment. She is professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, UK. Prior to this, she was director and professor of economics at the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University.

6:00pm, Tuesday, October 25th
The New School
6 East 16th Street, Wolff Conference room 1103
New York, NY
RSVP

Livestream - Watch online if you can't attend in person

Follow the event @SCEPA_economics using #TNSinequalityis

The Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism:

The Heilbroner lecture honors the work of Robert Heilbroner, who was both a student and a professor in the economics department of The New School for Social Research. This event is dedicated to understanding questions of economic justice and how the profit-seeking activities of private firms might also serve broader social goals. To use Heilbroner’s words, “capitalism’s uniqueness in history lies in its continuously self-generated change, but it is this very dynamism that is the system’s chief enemy.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Climate JusticeFrom the Arctic to the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific, small island states and coastal lines have become home to the most vulnerable communities. The threat of rising sea levels in the wake of climate change pushes populations to relocate to safer areas. But do contemporary legal frameworks recognize and protect the rights of climate migrants?

Join us for a lunch discussion with Professor Randall Abate, future dean of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law School, analyzing how international environmental law, international human rights, and U.S. domestic legal protection could save vulnerable and marginalized populations of climate refugees.

As a specialist in international and comparative environmental law, Professor Abate has taught in Argentina, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Kenya, India, Spain and Ukraine. Professor Abate has published and presented widely on environmental law topics, with a recent emphasis on climate change law and justice. His upcoming book, Climate Justice, includes case studies on global and regional governance challenges. Early in his career, Professor Abate advocated for environmental law matters on behalf of law firms in Manhattan. He holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a J.D. and M.S.E.L. (Environmental Law and Policy) from Vermont Law School.

RSVP
Thursday, September 8th
12:00pm – 1:30pm
The New School Department of Economics
6 East 16th Street, 11th floor, Wolff Conference Room
New York

"The Plight of Climate Refugees" is hosted by SCEPA's Economics of Climate Change Project, directed by Willi Semmler, Henry Arnold Professor of Economics in cooperation with the oikos NYC student organization and the New School University Student Senate (USS).

Follow the conversation on Twitter with @SCEPA_economics using #CCecon.

The event is free and open to the public.

 MG 2813SCEPA is proud to congratulate New School Economics PhD Heather Boushey on her appointment as chief economist of Hillary Clinton’s transition team, formally called the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project.

Boushey serves as executive director and chief economist of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Previously, she worked at the Joint Economic Committee, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute.

Her recent book, “Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict,” reflects her research focus on inequality, women, and social policy. The book presents a history of how the social and political environment has shaped the complicated economic lives of families. In response, she lays out policy proposals necessary for Americans to find the time they need and businesses to attract productive workers. Boushey presented her findings at The New School as SCEPA’s 2016 annual Schwartz lecturer. She also joined us in 2014 to give a powerful response to Thomas Piketty’s presentation of his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”

Boushey received her PhD in Economics from The New School for Social Research in 1998. Working with Economics Professor Anwar Shaikh,her dissertation was titled, "The Social Structures of Insulation: The Relationship Among Unemployment, Discrimination and Social Policy."

SCEPA’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) released three new policy briefs, funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), documenting the systemic failure of the current retirement savings system, even for those who use it as intended.

  1. 401(k) Plans: A Failed Experiment
    The financial wealth of individuals who participate in a 401(k) plan and are nearing retirement age (55 to 64) falls far short of the levels necessary to maintain their standard of living in retirement. This is true for households at all income levels.
  2. Household Economic Shocks Increase Retirement Wealth Inequality
    Low-income households are both more likely to experience shocks - such as job loss or ill-health - and also more likely to make early withdrawals from their retirement accounts in response. As a result, pre-retirement withdrawals exacerbate retirement inequality by increasing the likelihood that low-income workers will not have adequate income in retirement. Read Money Magazine’s coverage of this paper by Dan Kadlec, “How to Overcome ‘Income Shocks’ that Wreck Retirement Security.”
  3. Policies to Reduce Retirement Plan Leakages
    If households are permitted to use retirement savings to buffer pre-retirement shocks, the system will fail to achieve its goal of financing post-retirement consumption. But in a voluntary system, a prohibition on pre-retirement withdrawals may discourage participation. A prohibition on pre-retirement withdrawals should therefore be accompanied by a contribution mandate.

Taken together, these briefs identify the need for a change in retirement policy. The Guaranteed Retirement Account (GRA) is an example of a comprehensive policy proposal that is both mandatory and prohibits pre-retirement withdrawals. This plan would create federal retirement accounts that guarantee principal and an annual rate of return and provide annuities as an add on to Social Security.

SCEPA and INET are proud to present an online, semester-long economics class - advanced microeconomics - taught by Duncan Foley, the Leo Model Professor of Economics at The New School. The series includes videos of 14 class lectures, including Professor Foley's presentations and discussions with students. 

Class 01 Preliminaries. The first lecture consists of technical topics essential to the rest of the course, including philosophy of social science, Bayesian and Information theory.

At the beginning of the course, the philosophy of social science in correspondence to its deviation from the natural science is debated, focusing on if science should address people in a different way than animals. Moreover, the subjects of the meaning of frequency and probability are examined. Afterwards, an overview of the Bayesian Theory is discussed, complementary to its limitations reaching reality and how this view is linked to the econometric theory, which is based on the former. The first lecture ends raising the topic of elementary information theory (Shannon’s entropy) within a historical framework.

Advanced Microeconomics: Information and Behavior in Political Economy | Duncan Foley | Leo Model Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research | Lecture 01 Introduction | Spring 2016

SCEPA and INET are proud to present an online, semester-long economics class - advanced microeconomics - taught by Duncan Foley, the Leo Model Professor of Economics at The New School. The series includes videos of 14 class lectures, including Professor Foley's presentations and discussions with students. 

Class 02 Entropy-constrained behavior. The central point of discussion in the second lecture is the basic economic framework of human behavior developed based on the entropy-constrained theory and its advantages over the marginal utility theory of economics.

The lecture begins pointing out the significant impact of the entropy theory on a variety of scientific fields. Moving on, the focus shifts to the economic approach and the audience is presented with two examples of the behavior model. In the first case an individual maximizes her pay-off function through a single choice, whereas, in the second case the payoff maximization occurs via a set of mixed actions. Afterwards, the utilitarian theory is contrasted to the mainstream marginal utility theory. The former advocates that the welfare is comparable among individuals, in contrast to the latter which argues that the interpersonal comparisons of welfare are impossible due to the inherently subjective aspects of welfare. This raises the ground to legitimately taxation of the richest people, in case that people approximately have the same temperature. The second class ends with some simple examples and applications of this theory.

Advanced Microeconomics: Information and Behavior in Political Economy | Lecture 02 Entropy Constrained Behavior | Duncan Foley | Leo Model Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research | Spring 2016

SCEPA and INET are proud to present an online, semester-long economics class - advanced microeconomics - taught by Duncan Foley, the Leo Model Professor of Economics at The New School. The series includes videos of 14 class lectures, including Professor Foley's presentations and discussions with students.

Class 03 Applications of the entropy-constrained behavior model. The biggest part of third lecture dedicated to answering students questions essential to the topic and for the rest we are presented with applicable examples of the behavior model. This lecture provides fundamental information to anyone who wishes to comprehend the ideas that are discussed in previous lectures in greater depth.

At the beginning, the audience is presented with a detailed review of the entropy constrained behavior model, emphasizing on the description of the behavior temperature. Many important points are clarified, such as if the behavior temperature of people tends to be the same or if a fluctuation in behavior temperature changes the utility function, as well as how much will one’s behavior temperature would be affected if a tiger would appear in front of them! Moreover, in this lecture Gibbs distribution is examined more thoroughly. Afterwards, a definition of the expected utility theory is presented by using Von Neumann and Morgenstern’s lottery paradigm. Duncan Luce and Patrick Suppes attempt to experimentally prove the main point of the expected utility theory. However, the experiment did not show the sharp-step function behavior predicted by the expected utility theory. Thus, their experiment seems more precise with the use of the entropy behavior theory, where a choice with a greater payoff is just more plausible to occur. Additionally, some more mathematical applications are explained. In the end, the conversation zooms in the Gaussian method of analysis, which he uses in order to describe his foundation of normal distribution. The third lecture ends raising the question if the Gaussian method in astronomy works as well in social science.

Advanced Microeconomics: Information and Behavior in Political Economy | Lecture 03 Applications of the Entropy Constrained Behavior Model | Duncan Foley | Leo Model Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research | Spring 2016

SCEPA and INET are proud to present an online, semester-long economics class - advanced microeconomics - taught by Duncan Foley, the Leo Model Professor of Economics at The New School. The series includes videos of 14 class lectures, including Professor Foley's presentations and discussions with students. 

Class 04 Social Interaction (Part Α). The fourth class consists of a review of the entropy constrained behavior model, the completion of the expected utility theory and an introduction to the Social Interaction behavior.

The fourth lecture begins with a brief summary of the entropy-constrained behavior model and moves on to re-examining the expected utility function via Von Neumann and Morgenstern’s lottery example. Additionally, two more applications of the entropy-constrained theory are analyzed and visualized graphically. One is able to comprehend the weakness of the econometric models via this analysis. The econometric models ignore the constrains of real life and assume an asymmetry in error deviations, which cannot always lead to accurate results. The lecture ends with the explanation of the basic ground of the social interaction of the models and how this framework could be introduced in economics, something that until now has not been resolved by the mainstream utility theory.

Advanced Microeconomics: Information and Behavior in Political Economy | Lecture 04 Social Interaction (Part A) | Duncan Foley | Leo Model Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research | Spring 2016