Articles on The language of economics

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Every treasurer should be aware of the ultimate cost of government spending to taxpayers. Alan Porritt/AAP

In defence of fiscally conservative treasurers

Many highly distinguished economists such as my friend Geoff Harcourt come from what is commonly known as the Post-Keynesian school. This means they believe the theory of economics and fiscal policy applied…
Widespread violent protests in Greece in response to austerity measures showed the world what a real sovereign risk looks like. Joanna/Flickr

What is and isn’t a ‘sovereign risk’

The use of the term “sovereign risk” by Trade Minister Andrew Robb to describe the federal budget stalling in the senate shows just how fast and loosely the term has come to be used. But to whom is the…
Thanks to language, many people despise economists. Lafayette College/Flickr

Unemployed or lazy? Economists know better

Every scientific discipline has its own language, largely to save time when conversing with others from the same discipline. For instance, in trigonometry it’s much easier to talk about the “hypotenuse…
Has our use of economics language been a real driver of economic growth? Cau Napoli Collettivo Autorganizzato Universitario di Napoli/Flickr

Speak well of the bourgeois, and prosper

Do the words we use to speak of economic matters, matter? I believe they do, but not by the propagation of textbookish jargon. Rather, the main way they matter is in shaping public ethics. Economics has…
Does your treasurer suffer from deficit size fetishism? Alan Porritt/AAP

Why treasurers should go back to economics school

Though money and financial factors are integrated in complex ways in the workings of the economy, ultimately it is real resources – work forces (sizes and skills), capital goods and natural resources…

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