[LI] Trekonomics; innovation without pay; economic value

Three items outside of mainstream economics posted to LinkedIn: science fiction imagining a moneyless future; innovation outside of the context of paid work, and the meaning of value (as opposed to price) in economics.

The Economic Lessons of Star Trek’s Money-Free Society,” Wired, 28 May 2016 (posted August 2019)

Fascinating. Will have to get a copy of Manu Saadia’s “Trekonomics”

Honey, I Grew the Economy (Ep. 399),” by Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics, 4 December 2019 (posted December 2019)

Very interesting audio & print piece on a wide range of innovation that people do outside of the context of a job or formal R&D structure. “Ninety percent of them are not in it for the money. They’re in it for personal use. But they’re also into it for fun. Just fun and learning.” Because no money was exchanged, and no any corporate entity involved, this kind of activity was long on the margins of – or entirely beyond – economists’ attention.

I’d consider this another example of working “north of ikigai.”

What is economic value, and who creates it?” by Mariana Mazzucato, TED Talk, July 2019 (posted December 2019)

I really appreciate economist Mariana Mazzucato’s TED talk about what is meant by “value.” Among the key take-aways:

(1) The shift in “neoclassical economics” from a logic of “what is #value, how is it being determined, what is the reproductive potential of the economy, which then leads to a theory of price” to “the reverse: a theory of price and exchange which reveals value.” (As I read it, leading to our current situation where something with price has a value, but sth without a price has none)

(2) The related dynamic – resulting from a change in how a range of financial transactions are classified – where a lot of what counts as economic activity now is refinancing. (A nod here to institutional #economics and how rules and indeed definitions shape assumptions and actions.)

So as I hear it, Prof. Mazzucato is arguing not for a specific definition of “value,” but rather for renewed attention to what we really mean by that term, and what the effects of different definitions might be.


Other blogs > LinkedIn > LinkedIn articles & posts, 2019 (Aug-Dec)

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