Political Economy Books by URPE members

Also see 2014-15 books

John F. M. McDermott. 2017. Employers' Economics vs. Employees' Economy: How Adam Smith's Legacy Obscures Public Investment in the Private Sector Palgrave

This book argues that economic activity in the public sphere now underwrites private corporations, and rejects rigid adherence to traditional economic theories that no longer apply. Adam Smith's widely used "merchant's model" assumes that most investment is private, when in fact research demonstrates that public investment in the workforce through education and training far outweighs the private sector, and does not account for the growing presence of consensual pricing, the diversification of modern businesses, or the increasing internal authoritarianism of globalizing companies.

James Crotty. 2017. Capitalism, Macroeconomics and Reality: Understanding Globalization, Financialization, Competition and Crisis Edward Elgar Publishing.

The essays comprising this collection analyze the deep flaws in the methodological foundation of mainstream economic theory, and explain how these flaws make mainstream economics more ideology than sound social science. James Crotty develops alternative theories built on realistic assumptions that can explain most of the disastrous economic and financial developments of the past four decades. His work contributes to the collective creation of a solid theoretical foundation on which to build an understanding of the ‘laws of motion’ of capitalism in the post WWII era.

Ron Baiman. 2017. The Global Free Trade Error: The Infeasiblity of Ricardo's Comparative Advantage Theory Routledge.

The doctrine of "free trade" is second only to that of "free markets" in undergirding ideological support for our current global economic structures and rules. The Global Free Trade Error provides a detailed analysis of these foundational models and counter-poses these to alternative Neo-Marxist "unequal exchange" models of global trade and finance. In the second part of the book, unequal exchange analyses of global trade are shown to provide logically coherent and useful insights into global trade and finance. In the third and final part of the book, this unequal exchange perspective is used, within a general "demand and cost" setting, to develop a set of global managed trade principles for a more equitable and sustainable world trade regime.

Robin Hahnel. 2017. Income Distribution and Environmental Sustainablity Routledge.

Any economics that does not deal forthrightly with economic inequality is no longer suitable for the twenty-first century. Similarly, any economics which does not provide a coherent way to integrate environmental sustainability into economic analysis will fail to command allegiance in the century ahead. This book demonstrates how the Sraffian framework provides important advantages in both areas.

Hardy Hanappi, Savvas Katsikides, Manuel Scholz-Wäckerle. 2017. Theory and Method of Evolutionary Political Economy: A Cyprus Symposium Routledge.

The essays in this volume explore the theoretical and methodological aspects of evolutionary political economy. In part one, the authors consider the foundational contributions of some of the great economists of the past, while the second part demonstrates the benefits of adopting the methods of computer simulation and agent-based modelling. Together, the contributions to this volume demonstrate the richness, diversity and great explanatory potential of evolutionary political economy.

Joseph Persky. 2016. The Political Economy of Progress: John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism Oxford.

While there had been much radical thought before John Stuart Mill, Joseph Persky argues it was Mill, as he moved to the left, who provided the radical wing of liberalism with its first serious analytical foundation, a political economy of progress that still echoes today. The book claims that Mill's radical political economy anticipated more than a little of Marx's analysis of capitalism and laid a foundation for the work of Fabians and other gradualist radicals in the 20th century.

Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson. 2017. The Profit Doctrine: Economists of the Neo-Liberal Era Pluto Press.

Since the late 1970s, the ideas of influential economists have justified policies that have made the world more prone to economic crisis, remarkably less equal, more polluted, and less secure than it might be. By critically examining the work of the most famous economists of the neoliberal period including Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson demonstrate that many of those who rose to prominence did so primarily because of their defense of, and contribution to, rising corporate profits, rather thantheir ability to predict or explain economic events.
 

Robert B. Williams.  2017 The Privileges of Wealth: Rising inequality and the growing racial divide Routledge

The Privileges of Wealth investigates the impact of the rising concentration of wealth. It describes how households accumulate wealth along three pathways: household saving, appreciation of assets, and family gifts and inheritances. In addition, federal wealth policies, in the form of assorted tax deductions and credits, act as a fourth pathway that favors wealthy households. For those with means, each pathway operates as a virtuous cycle enabling families to build wealth with increasing ease. For those without, these same pathways are experienced as vicious cycles.

Michael D. Yates. 2016. The Great Inequality Routledge. 

A growing inequality in income and wealth marks modern capitalism, and it negatively affects nearly every aspect of our lives, especially those of the working class. It is and will continue to be the central issue of politics in almost every nation on earth. In this book, the author explains inequality in clear, passionate, and intelligent prose: what it is, why it matters, how it affects us, what its underlying causes are, and what we might do about it.

David M. Brennan, David Kristjanson-Gural, Catherine P. Mulder, Erik K. Olsen (Editors). 2017.  Routledge Handbook of Marxian Economics Routledge.

This handbook contains thirty-seven original essays from a wide range of leading international scholars, recognized for their expertise in different areas of Marxian economics. Its scope is broad, ranging from contributions on familiar Marxist concepts such as value theory, the labor process, accumulation, crisis and socialism, to others not always associated with the Marxian canon, like feminism, ecology, international migration and epistemology

Elliott D. Sclar, Måns Lönnroth, Christian Wolmar (Editors). 2016. Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment Routledge.

Urban transport plays a critical role in determining the social, environmental and economic shape of cities. Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment provide innovative ideas on how we might reorganize transport finance to ensure that it is suited to serving the social, environmental and economic principles that must guide future urban living. Continuing the work begun by its predecessor, Urban Access for the 21st Century, the authors assess the complexity of economic ethics from the perspective of philosophy, economics, and other social sciences.  It provides ample real life examples of economic ethics in practice.

Andrew T. Lamas, Todd Wolfson, and Peter N. Funke (Editors). 2016. The Great Refusal: Herbert Marcuse and Contemporary Social Movements Temple University Press.

Herbert Marcuse examined the subjective and material conditions of radical social change and developed the "Great Refusal," a radical concept of "the protest against that which is." The editors and contributors to the exciting new volume The Great Refusal provide an analysis of contemporary social movements around the world with particular reference to Marcuse's revolutionary concept. The book also engages—and puts Marcuse in critical dialogue with—major theorists including Slavoj Žižek and Michel Foucault, among others.

Geoge F. DeMartino and Deidre N. McCloskey (Editors).  2016. The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics Oxford University Press.

This book is the first comprehensive examination of the field of professional economic ethics, briinging ogether an interdisciplinary group of contributors to explore

Michelle Holder. 2017. African American Men and the Labor Market during the Great Recession. Palgrave MacMillan.

This book analyzes the status and position of African American men in the U.S. labor market prior to, during, and after the Great Recession. Using a model of occupational crowding, the book outlines how the representation of African American men in major occupational categories almost universally declined during the recent recession even as white non-Hispanic men were able to maintain their occupational representation in the face of staggering job losses. Policy approaches to address high African American male unemployment are outlined in the final chapter.

Sawas Katsikides and Hardy Hanappi (Editors). 2016. Society and Economics in Europe: Disparity versus Convergence Springer.

This book takes stock of the lessons to be learned from the experiences of different countries on their way to a transition into a unified Europe. It demonstrates how the project of a unified Europe is a social pilot project that is unique in human history, both with respect to the sheer number of people involved and with respect to the cultural diversity it aims to turn into a progressive advantage. With no historical experience at hand, the transition into a unified Europe is an exploratory process, often risky but sometimes also surprisingly successful. The structure of the book mirrors Europe’s diversity: specific country studies are combined with more general chapters, and quantitatively oriented econometric work is combined with qualitatively oriented sociological studies.

Jawied Nawabi, Alejandro Reuss, Chris Sturr, and the Dollars & Sense collective (Editors). 2016. Real World Globalization Dollars & Sense.

Real World Globalization is an essential guide to the changing trends in global trade, investment, labor relations, and economic development. Its well-researched, clearly written articles a provide highly accessible analysis of global corporations, international institutions and "free trade" agreements, globalization and conditions of labor, international debt, environmental and resource issues, and alternatives to dominant policies and institutions.  This fifteenth edition is thoroughly revised and updated, with new "spotlights" on ways out of the euro crisis and on the politics of immigration in Europe and the United States.

James M. Cypher, Robert Larson, Alejandro Reuss, Chris Sturr et al. (Editors). 2016.  Current Economic Issues Dollars & Sense.

A lively anthology on today’s most important economic debates, Current Economic Issues is perfect for introductory-level courses in economics and other social sciences. This brand-new edition covers key controversies—including ongoing economic stagnation, fiscal policy and deficits, financial instability, the welfare state, environmental protection, labor and unions, economic inequality, and the changing global economy.

Steve Keen.  2017. Can we avoid another financial crisis? Wiley.

The Financial Crash that convulsed the world in 2008 had cataclysmic effects on the global economy, and took conventional economists completely by surprise.  In this compelling and explosive book, Steve Keen, one of the very few economists who anticipated the crash, shows why the self-declared experts were wrong and offers a realistic, monetary approach to economics that can warn of crises before they happen. He shows how ever-rising levels of private debt make another financial crisis almost inevitable unless politicians tackle the real dynamics causing financial instability.

 Angelo Fusari. 2016. Understanding the course of social reality. The necessity of institutional and ethical transformation of utopian flavour. Springer.

Growing technological changes and innovation make it difficult to understand the course of social reality. The roots of this theoretical and practical confusion are identified with the adoption within the social sciences of the method of observation and verification. This may seem surprising in the light of the fact that the triumph of this method facilitated the emergence of the modern natural (and mechanical) sciences. But with the advent of modern dynamic society, itself very much an effect of the great advancement of the natural and formal sciences, the failure of the methodologies of these sciences with regard to the analysis of social reality has become increasingly marked and its consequences ever more devastating.

Omar Dahi and Firat Demir. 2016. South-South Trade and Finance in the Twenty-First Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence Anthem Press.

The book shows concrete and positive results from South–South trade particularly related to industrial development and also documents how South–South trade is dominated by large developing countries and that South–South trade liberalization may be counterproductive. The book’s findings are based on rigorous empirical exam ination of South–South trade and finance and it provides an even-handed assessment from the perspective of long-term development goals rather than mainstream welfare approaches or ideological/theoretical worldview.

Dean Baker. 2016.  Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer Available as a free download.

There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. In his most recent book, Baker shows that this upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather, it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Baker explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.

Paresh Chattopadhyay. 2016. Marx's Associated Mode of Production: A Critique of Marxism Palgrave.

This book aims to restore Marx’s original emancipatory idea of socialism, conceived as an association of free individuals centered on working people’s self-emancipation after the demise of capitalism. Marxist scholar Paresh Chattopadhyay argues that, Marx’s (and Engels’s) ideas have been deliberately warped with misinterpretation not only by those who resent these ideas but more consequentially by those who have come to power under the banner of Marx, calling themselves communists. This book challenges those who have inaccurately revised Marx’s ideas to justify their own pursuit of political power.

Hasan Cömert and Rex A. McKenzie (Editors). 2016. The Global South after the Crisis: Growth, Inequality and Development in the Aftermath of the Great Recession Elgar.

This volume is split into two accessible sections. The first part concentrates on the impact of the crisis on growth, inequality, policy responses and policy shifts in key areas such as central banking. The second part comprises individual country case studies and includes an exploration of the vulnerabilities related to the integration of developing economies into the world economy. The effect of the crisis on trade, and the ways in which some developing countries have entered into a prolonged period of stagnant growth following the global crisis are all considered.

The Great Financial Meltdown

Turan Subasat (Editor).  2016. The Great Financial Meltdown: Systemic, Conjunctural or Policy Created? Edward Elgar.

Contributions by URPE members Erdogan Bakir, Ricardo Bellofiore, Al. Campbell, David Kotz, Simon Mohun, Ozgur Orhangazi, and  John Weeks.The Great Financial Meltdown reviews, advocates and critiques the systemic, conjunctural and policy-based explanations for the 2008 crisis. The book expertly examines these explanations to assess their analytical and empirical validity. Comprehensive yet accessible chapters, written by a collection of prominent authors, cover a wide range of political economy approaches to the crisis, from Marxian through to Post Keynesian and other heterodox schools

Baiman

Ron Baiman. 2016. The Morality of Radical Economics: Ghost Curve Ideology and the Value Neutral Aspect of Neoclassical Economics Routledge.

This book is in equal parts a treatise on morality and economics, a critique of neoclassical orthodoxy, a brief for replacing mainstream economics with a radical political economics, and an argument for the abandonment of neoliberal capitalism in favor of democratic socialism. It includes a detailed proposal for a "demand and cost" alternative to "supply and demand" analysis and an in-depth technical critique of both neoclassical "high theory" and "applied microeconomic analysis" demonstrating that these are not only infeasible or immoral, but have directly contributed to public policy disasters. Further, the book suggests that only a moral economics in the form of radical political economy can address the looming economic and environmental crises of today’s world

Latin America after the Financial Crisis

Juan E. Santarcángelo, Orlando Justo, and Paul Cooney (Editors). 2016. Latin America after the Financial Crisis – Economic Ramifications from Heterodox Perspectives Routledge.

The aim of this book is to explain how the global financial crisis affected Latin America, analyze the main transmission channels that helped the crisis to spread in the region, and understand why this one was not as severe as other crises have been in the past.

Chernomas and Hudson

Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson. 2016.  Economics in the 21st Century: A Critical Perspective  University of Toronto Press.

They demonstrate how today’s top young economists continue to lead the field in the wrong direction. The recent winners of the John Bates Clark medal, economics’s “baby Nobel,” have won that award for studying important issues such as economic development, income inequality, crime, and health. Examining their research, Chernomas and Hudson show that this work focuses on individual choice,  ignores the systematic role of power in the economic system, and leads to solutions that are of limited effectiveness at best and harmful at worst.

wolff


Richard Wolff. 2016. Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown Haymarket Books

While most mainstream commentators view the crisis that provoked the Great Recession as having passed, these essays from Richard Wolff paint a far less rosy picture. Drawing attention to the extreme downturn in most of capitalism's old centers, the unequal growth in the its new centers, and the resurgence of a global speculative bubble, Wolff—in his uniquely accessible style—makes the case that the crisis should be grasped not as a passing moment but as an evolving stage in capitalism's history.

Fredrick S. Lee (late) and Bruce Cronin. 2016. Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics Elgar.

Despite the important critiques of the mainstream offered by heterodox economics, the dominant method remains econometrics. This major new Handbook provides an invaluable introduction to a range of alternative research methods better suited for analysing the social data prominent in heterodox research projects, including survey, historical, ethnographic, experimental, and mixed approaches, together with factor, cluster, complex, and social network analytics. Introductions to each method are complemented by descriptions of applications in practice.

Mark Weisbrot. 2015. Failed: What the "Experts" Got Wrong about the Global Economy Oxford University Press.

The book analyzes long-term economic failures, from the Eurozone to developing countries, shows how political agendas are often at the root of long-term economic failures and - as in the Eurozone - can prolong financial crises unnecessarily, and examines why the IMF has lost most of its influence in middle-income countries over the past decade and a half.

book cover Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice

Radhika Balakrishnan, James Heintz, Diane Elson. 2016. Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: the radical potential of human rights Routledge.

The dominant approach to economic policy has so far failed to adequately address the pressing challenges the world faces today: extreme poverty, widespread joblessness and precarious employment, burgeoning inequality, and large-scale environmental threats. Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice shows how human rights have the potential to transform economic thinking and policy-making with far-reaching consequences for social justice. The authors make the case for a new normative and analytical framework, based on a broader range of objectives which have the potential to increase the substantive freedoms and choices people enjoy in the course of their lives and not on not upon narrow goals such as the growth of gross domestic product.

The Servant State

Geoffrey McCormack and Thom Workman. 2016.  The Servant State: Overseeing Capital Accumulation in Canada Fernwood.

In The Servant State, McCormack and Workman explore Canada’s experience through the “age of austerity” and highlight how this experience has been shaped by the exigencies of capitalist development and the catalyzing role of the Canadian state. The analytical standpoint is not that of the oppressed per se, but rather that of capitalism as a whole. They share the condemnation of the capitalist establishment, are appalled by the greed and avarice of the ruling elite and despair at the obscenities of the age; however, the critical spirit of their study is imbued less with a mood of indignation and more with assumptions and sensitivities about the inner tendencies of capitalism and the obliging role of the state.Also see Age of Austerity: Capital, the Financial Crisis and the State in Canada. Geoffrey McCormack and Thom Workman are interviewed by Robin Chang in the March 16, 2016 The Bullet.

Book cover: Finding Time by Heather Boushey

Heather Boushey. 2016.  Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict  Harvard University Press.

Employers today are demanding more and more of employees’ time. And from campaign barbecues to the blogosphere, workers across the United States are raising the same worried question: How can I get ahead at my job while making sure my family doesn’t fall behind? Heather Boushey argues that resolving work–life conflicts is as vital for individuals and families as it is essential for realizing the country’s productive potential. The federal government, however, largely ignores the connection between individual work–life conflicts and more sustainable economic growth. The consequence: business and government treat the most important things in life—health, children, elders—as matters for workers to care about entirely on their own time and dime. That might have worked in the past, but only thanks to a hidden subsidy: the American Wife, a behind-the-scenes, stay-at-home fixer of what economists call market failures. When women left the home—out of desire and necessity—the old system fell apart. Families and the larger economy have yet to recover. But change is possible. Finding Time presents detailed innovations to help Americans find the time they need and help businesses attract more productive workers.Also see Finding Time: A Book Talk with Heather Boushey on the Economics of Work-Life Conflict held March 15, 2016  at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC.  Read a Wall Street Journal Q&A with Heather Boushey

Fred Mosley. 2016. Money and Totality A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx's Logic in Capital and the End of the 'Transformation Problem.' Brill.

This ambitious book presents a comprehensive new 'macro-monetary' interpretation of Marx’s logical method in Capital, based on substantial textual evidence, which emphasises two main points: (1) Marx’s theory is primarily a macroeconomic theory of the total surplus-value produced in the economy as a whole; and (2) Marx’s theory is a monetary theory from beginning to end and the circuit of money capital – M - C - M’ – is the logical framework of Marx’s theory. It follows from this 'macro-monetary' interpretation that, contrary to the prevailing view, there is no 'transformation problem' in Marx’s theory; i.e., Marx did not 'fail to transform the inputs of constant capital and variable capital' in his theory of prices of production in Part 2 of Volume III.  Read Michael Roberts' review.

China and the 21st Century Crisis cover

Minqui Li. 2016. China and the 21st Century Crisis. Pluto Press.

The USA is widely seen as the country at the centre of the recent economic crash. But will this be the case the next time the system goes into shock? By looking at the big questions of class struggle, global economic imbalances, peak oil, climate change and political power play, Minqi Li argues that by the time of the next crisis, China will be at the epicentre of these contradictions. Unlike previous books, China and the 21st Century Crisis analyses how the political and economic imbalances in China will exacerbate system collapse, and how this could happen much sooner than we imagine, possibly within a decade. Li writes from a Marxist and ecological perspective, and points out that the limits to capital are fast approaching. China is the last large region (and source of cheap labour) into which capital could expand: the system is at its limits. By combining this argument with issues surrounding the planet’s ecological limits and the internal politics of the Chinese Communist Party, Li commands a narrative of China at a pivotal, and possibly apocalyptic stage

Book cover: Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises by Anwar Shaikh

Anwar Shaikh. 2016. Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises Oxford University Press

The book takes a unique approach in developing an economic analysis of modern capitalism without any reliance on conventional assumptions of either perfect or imperfect competition.  It reconciles macro and micro aspects of growth, making this work extremely relevant to current growth theory. It critiques mainstream neoclassical economics and offers an alternative framework for understanding modern economies.See Shaikh's on-line series of lectures on the book.

Book cover: The Political Economy of Food and Finance

Ted K. Schmidt. 2016.  The Political Economy of Food and Finance Routledge.

This book describes the financialization process in commodity futures markets which transformed commodities into an asset class. Incorporated into the portfolio decisions of investors, commodity prices now behave like all asset prices, becoming more volatile and subject to periodic bubbles. As commodity prices were driven higher in the 2000s, farmland became more valuable, setting off a global land grab by investors, nations, and corporations. More recently, under the financialization food regime, slow growth and low returns encouraged merger activity driven by private equity firms, with food industry corporations as prime targets, leading to increased industry concentration.

book cover Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice

Radhika Balakrishnan, James Heintz, Diane Elson. 2016. Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: the radical potential of human rights Routledge.

The dominant approach to economic policy has so far failed to adequately address the pressing challenges the world faces today: extreme poverty, widespread joblessness and precarious employment, burgeoning inequality, and large-scale environmental threats. Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice shows how human rights have the potential to transform economic thinking and policy-making with far-reaching consequences for social justice. The authors make the case for a new normative and analytical framework, based on a broader range of objectives which have the potential to increase the substantive freedoms and choices people enjoy in the course of their lives and not on not upon narrow goals such as the growth of gross domestic product.

Also see 2015 and earlier books