Heterodox Economics Newsletter

Issue 212 April 17, 2017 web pdf Heterodox Economics Directory

Aside from the usual and refreshing plethora of books and events listed below, this issue of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter comes with a series of special notifications, including two important calls for support (here and here), the announcement of a new magazine - "The Mint" - focusing on bringing new economic thinking into the public debate as well as a call for applications regarding the editorship of a highly regarded heterodox economics journal. I also included one interesting article from the Guardian on the role of economics in politics and society - having said that, let me also note, that we are always interested in submissions for our "Heterodoxy in the media"-section. So do not be shy and send us your stuff!

In addition to all this, I also wanted to point you to a very nice paper by Michael Margolis published in the recent issue of Economic Thought, which is also covered below. The paper makes at least two contributions: First, it provides a clear-cut tool for thinking critically about claims on causality in applied econometrics. Such tools become more and more important as the "credibility revolution" and the associated focus on natural experiments and new empirical techniques indeed has an impact: it leads (some) mainstream researchers to care more about empirical design and less about theoretical priors, although the latter still play a huge role and are reinforced through the publication process (see past editorials, here or here in section 5.3). However, as more sophisticated techniques enter the econometric scene, potential biases become more difficult to identify - and this is exactly where Margolis steps in. He then - and this is his second contribution - applies his graph-based framework of causal mapping to the highly influential paper of Acemoglu et al. on the interaction of institution and development (see here) to show how shaky the foundations of this high-impact research actually are. Research like this is so highly important as it increases our capabilities to confront novel developments in the economic mainstream with a critical attitude.

I hope you will agree with me on this and leave it at that,

all the best,

Jakob

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