ECON 3529 - Rethinking Capitalism III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course may provide a broad ranging discussion of many of the most pressing issues confronting modern market economies, adopting a pluralist perspective throughout. While technological advances and economic globalisation have contributed to economic growth over time, they have been accompanied in many countries by underemployment and insecure employment; higher levels of income and wealth inequality; financialisation and rising private indebtedness; higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; and a variety of other ecological problems. In recent years, secular stagnation, low investment rates and stalling productivity growth have been widespread. The course may consider innovative and often controversial approaches to addressing these issues, drawn from both neoclassical and heterodox economists. It is intended to be challenging to students who already possess an extensive background in economics, while at the same time remaining accessible to those who have not progressed beyond the first year Principles course. The approach taken is discursive and empirical, rather than being either mathematical or heavily theoretical and technical.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 3529
    Course Rethinking Capitalism III
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 1012
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Steven Hail

    Office hours: to be advised at the beginning of the course.

    Office location: Nexus 10, Level 3, Room 3.34.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Each student is expected to attend two one hour lectures each week, and a one hour tutorial. A full timetable of the lectures and tutorials can be found on the Course Planner at:

    The lectures will be used to explain the concepts, theories and models relevant to rethinking capitalism, whilst the tutorial time will be used to apply the acquired knowledge to active discussions. The tutorial questions will consist of a mix of real world and theoretical, quantitative and analytical, questions which will be posted on MyUni prior to the tutorials.

    Students are expected to study the course materials carefully and to fully engage in class discussions. All work discussed in both the lectures and the tutorials and any submitted material can form the basis for the final examination.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Identify and explain a range of contemporary economic issues which are currently subject to debate and controversy.
    2. Identify, explain and apply contributions from a variety of prominent economists and various schools of thought to modern controversies relating to economic policy
    3. Construct effective pieces of written work, both individually and in groups, of a professional standard, to communicate the results of economic analysis to non-economists.
    4. Present economic analysis to a diverse group of students and members of staff, making appropriate use of the available technology for the purpose.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Kelton, S. (2020). The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. New York: Public Affairs and London: John Murray.

    Recommended Resources
    Other resources will be supplied on the Canvas course web-site.
    Online Learning
    All of the material related to the course, e.g. supportive readings, tutorial questions, lecture slides, supplementary materials, mock examinations, and the full details of each assessment task will be available on MyUni.

    To encourage collaborative learning, the course will also make use of discussion groups and a chat function on the MyUni webpage.

    These forums will be monitored regularly and managed by the course co-ordinator.

    The purpose of the forums is to encourage student’s collaborative learning and provide all students with equal access to information related to the course.

    Course Website:

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lectures will closely follow the readings provided on-line, and the core text. The idea is that the lectures and the text should reinforce each other. You are strongly advised to keep up with the reading, and to do the core reading for each week prior to the lecture. You will find that the lectures are far easier to follow if you have done this.

    Core Text.

    Kelton, S. 2020. The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray

    The tutorials will reinforce the lectures, and will require active participation from all students.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    On-Line Lecture Material: 2 Hours per week.

    Tutorials: 1 Hour per week.

    Home study expectation: 10 Hours per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Readings
    The schedule of activities may differ in some respects from what is listed below, due to current events.
    1 Rethinking capitalism: an introduction. Keynes, J.M. 1930. “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”.

    Smith, W. 2020. "The Price of Capitalism – Markets, Growth and Industrial Democracy in 21st Century Australia". Castlemaine Institute.
    2 Rethinking value - contending perspectives. Mazzucato, M. 2018. “Value in the Eye of the Beholder”. Chapter Three, pp 57-74 in The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in The Global Economy. Allen Lane.

    Schneider, G. 2019. “Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost. The mainstream approach, the limits of this approach, and the importance of institutions”. Chapter Two, pp 22-44 in The Evolution of Economic Ideas and Systems. A Pluralist Introduction. Routledge.
    3 The macroeconomic environment. Kelton, S. 2020. “Don’t Think of a Household”. Chapter One, pp 15-40 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.

    Kelton, S. 2020. “Think of Inflation”. Chapter Two, pp 41-73 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.
    4 Rethinking macroeconomic policy. Kelton, S. 2020. “The National Debt (That Isn’t)”. Chapter Three, pp 75-100 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.

    Kelton, S. 2020. “Their Red Ink is My Black Ink”. Chapter Four, pp 101-126 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.

    Joy, D. and S. Hail. 2020. "Federal Debt and Modern Money". Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. Policy Note No. 121.
    5 Rethinking trade and trade policy. Kelton, S. 2020. “’Winning’ at Trade”. Chapter Five, pp 127-155 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.

    Sylla, N.S. 2020. "How Foreign Debt Undermines Sovereignty. The case of the Global South". Rosa Luxemburg Foundation News. 19th May.
    6 Inequality and human behaviour. Gittins, R. 2014. "An Economics Fit for Humans’" Ronald Henderson Oration, Melbourne.

    Wilkinson, Richard & Pickett, Kate. 2014. "A Convenient Truth". Fabian Ideas 638. Fabian Society, London.
    7 Financialisation and full employment. Wray, L.R. 2016. “Minsky and the Global Financial Crisis”. Chapter Six, pp 137-161 in Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist. Princeton University Press.

    Tcherneva,P. 2018. "Unemployment. The Silent Epidemic". Working Paper No. 895. Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. August 2017.

    Smith, W. 2017. "Unemployment Policy in Australia: A Brief History". Per Capita. May 2017.
    8 Rethinking the environment. Raworth, K. 2012. "A safe and just space for humanity". Oxfam Discussion Paper, February 2012.

    Keen, S. 2020. "Nobel prize-winning economics of climate change is misleading and dangerous – here’s why". The Conversation. September 9th 2020.

    Hickel, J. 2020. ‘Degrowth and MMT – A Thought Experiment’. Brave New Europe. September 28, 2020.
    9 Rethinking privatisation. Quiggin, J. 2014. "Electricity Privatisation in Australia". John Quiggin Opinion and Consulting. February 2014.

    Murray, C. and P Frijters. 2017 “The Great Transportation Game”. Chapter Three in Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation.
    10 Innovation Mazzucato, M. 2011. "The Entrepreneurial State". Demos.
    11 Rethinking the public purpose. Kelton, S. 2020. “’The Deficits that Matter”. Chapter Seven, pp 191-228 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.

    Kelton, S. 2020. “Building a Better Economy”. Chapter Eight, pp 229-263 in The Deficit Myth. Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. John Murray.
    12 Rethinking capitalism: economics for sustainable prosperity. Hail, S. 2018. “Conclusion: Economics for Sustainable Prosperity”. Chapter Eight, pp 141-182 in Economics for Sustainable Prosperity. Palgrave Macmillan.

    Economists for Future. 2020. "Beyond Economics as Usual - Treating a Crisis Like a Crisis".
    Exam Period N/A Final exam
    Specific Course Requirements
    The minimum grade to pass this subject is a mark of 50% overall. There are no separate requirements for individual assessments.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Length Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial participation Collaborative; Formative Weekly, ongoing N/A 10% 1,2,4
    Individual written article Individual; Formative Week 8 1,000 words 10% 1,2,3
    Group report Collaborative; Formative Week 10 3,000 words 10% 1,2,3
    On-line quizzes Individual; Formative Weeks 4, 8 and 12 N/A 30% 2
    Final Exam Individual; Formative Exam period 2 hours 40% 1,2,3
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The minimum grade to pass this subject is a mark of 50% overall. There are no separate requirements for individual assessments.
    Assessment Detail

    1) Short Individual Article: 1,000 words – suggested limit (Due: Friday of Week 8).10% Weight.

    A short article, written as if for a magazine, relating to a topic selected by the course co-ordinator from those covered during weeks 1-6. This is designed to assess CLOs 1, 2 and 3.

    2) Group Report: 3,000 words– strict limit (Due: Friday of Week 10).10% Weight.

    A more extensive short group report, on a topic selected from a short-list provided by the course co-ordinator at the beginning of the course. This is also designed to assess CLO 1, 2 and 3.

    3) Three on-line quizzes – (Due: Weeks 4, 8 and 12). 30% Weight.

    These are designed to assess the extent to which students have assimilated the materials covered during the previous four weeks, and to help students to prepare for the final examination. This is designed to assess CLO 2.

    4) Tutorial Participation. 10% Weight.

    Students will be expected to participate actively in tutorials at all times. An assessment rubric relating to this item of assessment will be made available to students at the beginning of the course. This assesses CLO 1, 2 and 4.

    5) Final Examination – 2 hours, Closed Book. 40% Weight.

    The exam will comprise a mix of compulsory short answer questions and optional longer written questions. A mock examination will be posted on MyUni at the beginning of the course. The final examination assesses CLOs 1, 2 and 3.

    Date: Please refer to the examination timetable for details of exam location and time.
    1. Assessments are to be submitted on-line, via the MyUni site. Failure to submit an assessment on time will lead to a zero mark.

    2. Extensions and alternative assessment conditions: It is your responsibility to contact the lecturer in the first 2 weeks of the semester to discuss extension or alternative assessment options. This applies to ALL students, including but not limited to those registered with the disability centre or the elite athletes program. Exceptional circumstances will be evaluated by your lecturer on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed whenever possible at least 48 hours before the due date.

    3. Assignments will generally be graded, with appropriate written feedback, within two weeks of the assessment due date. .
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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