Saturday, May 17, 2008


Some feminists have started blogging on economics: Kathy G. and Allison. Kathy G. doesn't seem to draw on Feminist Economics. I don't know about Allison.

I recently stumbled on the blog of an economist at Cambridge, UK.

As I understand it, this blog is from Edward Nell's son. I might as well give a quote from Edward Nell:
"Joan Robinson started the capital theory/production function controversies in the 1950s. After Sraffa's book in 1960 the next decades saw major battles in the journals, battles which resulted in conclusions widely held today: to wit, the technical errors are conceded, but their significance is contested. This has a practical meaning: open any major journal at random today, and there will be marginal products, aggregate production functions, et hoc genus omnia - with no hint that any technical error is involved. The critique is simply ignored. It can't be answered, but it is held to be unimportant.

The neo-Ricardian project initially aimed at reviving the Classical approach. The idea, it seemed was to develop an alternative economics, a science of economic phenomena grounded on different principles...

...The original idea was to move toward a complete reconstruction of economics, on a revived and revised form of the Classical approach, not merely critism of neo-Classical arguments, nor clarification of Classical arguments. The approach would be different: it would be sound theory, but theory based on a realistic account of institutions and history. Furthermore, such analyses could be expected to lead to new, useful, and progressive formulations of policy. That was also the hope of the summer school in Trieste.

What has emerged must be considered disappointing. A Classical 'general equilibrium' theory has been worked out, together with a critique of neo-Classical [economics] - but there has been no development of a new economics. To be sure, there are a few scattered articles on a number of ... topics. But besides the critical work and the development of price theory, the important and widely recognized work has centered on the History of Economic Thought." -- E. J. Nell (1998), The General Theory of Transformational Growth: Keynes After Sraffa, Cambridge University Press
I am aware that I have only here on this blog touched on the potential of Sraffa's work.

One of the seven bloggers here is Tiago Mata.

Tim Lee has a review of Math You Can't Use, a book by Ben Klemen objecting to software patents. Matthew Yglesias's reacts. Some of Matt's commenter's bring up another book, Patent Failure, by Bessen and Meuer. I've found a post from another blog on Matt's post and another reaction from Matt. By the way, when considering the desirability of software patents, one might distinguish between bad patents in an area of technology and the (un)desirability in principle of having patents in an area. As I understand, software patents differ from copyrights in that they impose a burden on developers of doing searches of already established intellectual property, while copyrights don't.

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