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In defence of uncertainty

Nick Henderson argues that a counterintuitive dose of uncertainty is not just beneficial, but essential for economic and moral development.

Economics: an intro

Alex Millmow, Professor in Economics at Federation University, provides new students and those returning to their studies in economics with some valuable advice, as well as a reflection on how the way the teaching of economics has changed in the past four decades.

Working hard or hardly working?

I think much of what I like about capitalism stems from the idea of certainty; the idea that we can be sure, perhaps naively or misleadingly, that individuals will always act in accordance with self-interested values.

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The Austrian economists: why we would bring them back from the sidelines

Amongst the many schools of economic thought, the Austrian school lies outside the economic mainstream. However, it has perhaps surprisingly punched above its weight in terms of its influence over the political and economic thought of the 20th century. Some of the most prominent and influential economists were from this particular school, such Friedrich Hayek.  Hayek in particular had a large influence on the thinking of some of the great leaders of recent history such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Known for their “laissez-faire-ness” and strong individualist and libertarian undertones, the Austrian’s ultimately advocate a much broader philosophy that reaches beyond just economics. It is perhaps this point that has given them an even wider reach and audience.

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Gold Class Animal Spirits

In his 1936 book ‘The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money’ John Maynard Keynes outlined how rather than being independently rational, investors were often prone to erratic herd-like behaviour. He argued that macroeconomic stability is inherently vulnerable to the ‘animal spirits’ of speculators. The recent deflation of the post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) gold price bubble is a prime example of this phenomenon.

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