Jamee K. Moudud

BS, MEng, Cornell University. MA, PhD (Honors), The New School for Social Research. Current interests include the study of industrial competition, the political economy of the developmental welfare state, the determinants of business taxes, and the study of Schumpeter’s analysis of the tax state. SLC, 2000–

Research and Interests

Over the past few years few years I have developed two new passions in my life, one of which is to study legal theory and legal history and their links to political economy, and the other is the electric guitar.  On the law/political economy nexus, my focus is the study of the legal foundations of markets and of money and to understand how conflicts over property and contracts are at the heart of our economic system.  This has led me in an intellectual direction that rejects the public/private divide, at the heart of much thinking in economics, and provides the basis for a new way of conceptualizing policy which is quite distinct from both the neoclassical and much of the alternative traditions in economics.  In this endeavor I have been heavily influenced by Karl Polanyi, the Legal Realists (especially Robert Lee Hale, Wesley R. Hohfeld, and Morris N. Cohen), and the broad Critical Legal Studies tradition.  I am involved with two exciting new scholarly groups, the Association for the Promotion of Political Economy and the Law (APPEAL) and ClassCrits.  I am also collaborating  with colleagues in these two groups to launch the Journal of Law and Political Economy. Finally, I am an Associate Editor with another journal, the Review of Keynesian Economics.

As for my electric guitar, I have found that in playing blues and classic rock the complexity of piecing together the notes to create a song oddly enough parallels the ways in which societies are constructed at a foundational level. Who would have thought that Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane or Deep Purple could be so profound!

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Economics

Econometric Analysis: Structural Explorations in the Social Sciences

Open , Lecture—Year

This lecture requires some basic knowledge (high-school level) of mathematics and statistics. A review of core concepts in these subjects will be carried out at the beginning of the fall semester.

The course is designed for all students interested in the social sciences who wish to understand the methodology and techniques involved in the estimation of structural relationships between variables. The course is intended for students who wish to be able to carry out empirical work in their particular field, both at Sarah Lawrence College and beyond, and critically engage empirical work done by academic or professional social scientists. The practical hands-on approach taken in this course will be useful to those students who wish to do future conference projects in the social (or natural) sciences with significant empirical content. It will also be invaluable for students who are seeking internships, planning to enter the job market, or desiring to pursue graduate education in the social sciences and public policy. After taking this course, students will be able to analyze questions such as the following: What is the relationship between slavery and the development of capitalist industrialization in the United States? What effects do race, gender, and educational attainment have in the determination of wages? How does the female literacy rate affect the child mortality rate? How can one model the effect of economic growth on carbon-dioxide emissions? What is the relationship among sociopolitical instability, inequality, and economic growth? How do geographic location and state spending affect average public-school teacher salaries? How do socioeconomic factors determine the crime rate in the United States? During the course of the year, we will study all of these questions. In the first semester, we will cover the theoretical and applied statistical principles that underlie Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression techniques. We will begin with the assumptions needed to obtain the Best Linear Unbiased Estimates of a regression equation, also known as the “BLUE” conditions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the assumptions regarding the distribution of a model’s error term and other BLUE conditions. We will also cover hypothesis testing, sample selection, and the critical role of the t- and F-statistic in determining the statistical significance of a social metric model and its associated slope or “β” parameters. Further, we will address the three main problems associated with the violation of a particular BLUE assumption: multicollinearity, serial correlation, and heteroscedasticity. We will learn how to identify, address, and remedy each of those problems. In addition, we will take a similar approach to understanding and correcting model specification errors. Finally, we will focus on the analysis of historical time-series models and the study of long-run trend relationships between variables. At the end of the fall semester, students will have to carry out an econometric analysis of a World Bank study on labor markets. The spring semester class will build on the fall class by introducing students to advanced topics in econometrics. We will study autoregressive dependent lag (ARDL) models, co-integration, and error correction models involving nonstationary time series. We will investigate simultaneous equations systems, vector error correction (VEC), and vector autoregressive (VAR) models. The final part of the seminar will involve the study of panel data, as well as logit/probit models. As with the fall class, the spring class will also be very “hands-on,” in that students will get ample exposure to concrete issues while also being encouraged to consider basic methodological questions (e.g., the debates between John Maynard Keynes and Jan Tinbergen) regarding the power and limitations of econometric analysis. At the end of the spring semester, students will have to do in-class presentations of self-designed econometric projects (either singly or in groups) on topics of their choice. The spring semester is particularly relevant to students who wish to pursue graduate studies in a social-science discipline, although it will be equally relevant for those seeking other types of graduate degrees that involve knowledge of intermediate-level quantitative analysis.

Faculty
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Microeconomic Theory and Policy: Advanced Topics

Intermediate , Seminar—Fall

Some prior background in economics is required.

What assumptions, methodologies, values, vision, and theoretical foundations do microeconomists incorporate and rely upon for analyzing economic behavior at the individual level? What insights, knowledge, inferences, and/or conclusions can be gleaned through examining characteristics of individual firms, agents, households, and markets in order to understand capitalist society? How do our theories of individual and business behavior inform our interpretation of distributional outcomes? Among other topics, this semester-long seminar in intermediate microeconomics will offer an inquiry into economic decision-making vis-à-vis: theories of demand and supply, the individual (agents), households, consumption (consumer choice); theories of production and costs; theories of the firm (business enterprise, corporations); theories of markets and competition; prices and pricing theory; public policy and legal foundations; and theories of value and income distribution. Critical analysis, reflection, and insight into these and other topics will be supported and strengthened by appealing to a broad range of traditions in economics, including neoclassical (orthodox, mainstream, marginalist) and post-Keynesian, feminist, Marxian, law and political economy, and institutionalist (heterodox schools of thought). Insights from legal analyses on microeconomic topics (such as cost-benefit analysis, the Coase theorem, and Pareto optimality) will also be discussed.

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Graduate Courses

Health Advocacy 2017-2018

Economics of Health

Online

This course will examine many of the major issues facing the American health care system from a variety of economic perspectives. A wide range of topics will be covered, from the racial and economic disparities in health outcomes to the Patient Protection Act and alternative modes of financing of the medical care delivery system. Students will learn how the tools and analytic approaches used by economists can enhance the understanding of major public-health issues such as AIDS, reproductive care, and mental health, as well as key health care financing issues such as the rising cost of health care and our fragmented insurance system.

Faculty

Previous Courses

First-Year Studies: 2016 Presidential Election in Context: Power, Inequality, and Public Authority

Open , FYS—Year

The 2016 Presidential election result has far-reaching implications for economic and social policies. Vowing to dismantle the legacy of the New Deal—or, as one prominent Administration member put it, the “administrative state”—the policy initiatives of the new administration have been cheered by some and opposed by others. While it is too early to say what the future trajectory of this administration will be, in this course we will situate current policy initiatives in a theoretical and historical context by drawing on insights from different schools of thought in economics, as well as in other disciplines such as law, politics, sociology, and history. Some of the key questions to be addressed are: Is economics a monolithic subject, or are there rival schools of thought within the discipline with different methodological, theoretical, and policy/political implications? Why is the study of history a central methodological concern for many economists, and why is it not so for others? Why do people distinguish between “regulation” and laissez faire, and is this a false dichotomy? What is the history of public policy in the United States and other countries? How do we understand the role of political power and the “rule of law” in regard to market outcomes? With inequality as one of the central themes of our current political climate, how do we understand its causes and what is the link to the history of taxation policies in the United States? These will be some of the questions that we will be tackling throughout the course of the year, thereby ensuring that students develop a solid foundation for the fundamental debates in economic theory and policy and understand the key role of methodology in the study of political economy phenomena. Finally, the goal is to ensure that students develop the ability to critically engage scholarly work in economics.

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Money, Banking, Financial Crises, and Global Governance: Law, History, and Policy Struggles

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

This is an intermediate level course designed for students with an interest in a historically-informed analysis of political economy and the law. Some background in economics and/or a relevant social science discipline is recommended, although the instructor is willing to be flexible.”

While their politics were radically different, the British political economist Jeremy Bentham and historian E. P. Thompson both emphasized the centrality of law in society. Bentham stated, “Property and law are born together, and die together. Before laws were made, there was no property; take away laws, and property ceases” (Bentham 1840, p. 139, cited from Singer 2015, p. 15). While, on the basis of his historical work, Thompson concluded: “For I found that law did not keep politely to a ‘level,’ but was at every bloody level; it was imbricated within the mode of production and productive relations themselves (as property-rights, definitions of agrarian practice)…” (Thompson 1978, p. 96). Using the study of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 as its point of departure, this course will discuss the relationship between law and money (which is, after all, a form of property), along with the nature and legal underpinnings of finance and financial crises. As a course in the subdiscipline of law and economics, this class will introduce students to mainstream and critical approaches to both law and economics in regards to money, finance, and governance. It will be demonstrated throughout this course that core issues in law, such as those pertaining to property and contracts, are deeply embedded in all economic phenomena, including monetary ones. In the first semester, we will start off by discussing the subprime mortgage crisis that erupted in 2008. Students will be introduced to both the nature of the crisis and legal scholars’ analysis of it. This part of the course will show how legal/regulatory issues are profoundly influenced by political and ideological factors. In this context, we will study the money-politics-power nexus and its relationship to ongoing debates regarding economic “regulation” versus “deregulation.” The bulk of the semester will be devoted to conventional, as well as legal, analyses of money, with the key question being: Where does money come from? This issue will be discussed at length by a study of the legal history of money in the United Kingdom. In the spring, we will start the semester by exploring the origins and nature of money in the context of pre-colonial and colonial Africa. The bulk of the spring semester will then deal with international finance, foreign trade, foreign debt, and governance. In the context of governance, we will study the ways in which dollarization and contestation over taxation affect domestic monetary arrangements; i.e., the stability of the legally established unit of account. These issues will be related to the question of national sovereignty. The governance and sovereignty question will also be explored via a study of the nature and role of credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the global economy. The spring semester will end by revisiting the study of financial crises. We will study what has come to be known as the legal theory of finance (LTF) and relate it to the debates on financial regulatory policies in the wake of the crash of 2008.

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Introduction to Econometrics: Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences

Open , Lecture—Year

The fall semester corresponds to the lecture “Social Metrics I: Introduction to Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences” taught in previous years. Social Metrics I, or the first semester of this class, is a prerequisite to the spring semester part. For the fall semester, no prior background in economics or the social sciences is required, but knowledge of basic statistics and high-school algebra is required.

The course is designed for all students interested in the social sciences who wish to understand the methodology and techniques involved in the estimation of structural relationships between variables. The course is intended for students who wish to be able to carry out empirical work in their particular field, both at Sarah Lawrence College and beyond, and critically engage empirical work done by academic or professional social scientists. The practical hands-on approach taken in this course will be useful to those students who wish to do future conference projects in the social (or natural) sciences with significant empirical content. It will also be invaluable for students who are seeking internships, planning to enter the job market, or desiring to pursue graduate education in the social sciences and public policy. After taking this course, students will be able to analyze questions such as the following: What is the relationship between slavery and the development of capitalist industrialization in the United States? What effects do race, gender, and educational attainment have in the determination of wages? How does the female literacy rate affect the child mortality rate? How can one model the effect of economic growth on carbon dioxide emissions? What is the relationship among sociopolitical instability, inequality, and economic growth? How do geographic location and state spending affect average public-school teacher salaries? How do socioeconomic factors determine the crime rate in the United States? During the course of the year, we will study all of these questions. In the first semester, we will cover the theoretical and applied statistical principles that underlie Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression techniques. We will begin with the assumptions needed to obtain the Best Linear Unbiased Estimates of a regression equation, also known as the “BLUE” conditions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the assumptions regarding the distribution of a model’s error term and other BLUE conditions. We will also cover hypothesis testing, sample selection, and the critical role of the t- and F-statistic in determining the statistical significance of a social metric model and its associated slope or “β” parameters. Further, we will address the three main problems associated with the violation of a particular BLUE assumption: multicollinearity, serial correlation, and heteroscedasticity. We will learn how to identify, address, and remedy each of these problems. In addition, we will take a similar approach to understanding and correcting model specification errors. Finally, we will focus on the analysis of historical time-series models and the study of long-run trend relationships between variables. At every step, we will discuss basic methodological questions, drawing in particular on the debates between John Maynard Keynes and Jan Tinbergen regarding the power and limitations of econometric analysis. The spring semester class will build on the fall class by introducing students to advanced topics in econometrics. We will study autoregressive dependent lag (ARDL) models, co-integration, and error correction models involving nonstationary time series. We will investigate simultaneous equations systems, vector error correction (VEC), and vector autoregressive (VAR) models. The final part of the seminar will involve the study of panel data, as well as logit/probit models. As with the fall class, the spring class will also be very “hands-on,” in that students will get ample exposure to concrete issues. Mathematical derivations will be kept to a minimum, as the goal is to train students to do practical work in econometrics. Also like the fall semester class, students will have to do joint collaborative projects in addition to conference work. Finally, methodological issues will be discussed throughout the semester. The spring semester is particularly relevant to students who wish to pursue graduate studies in a social science discipline, although it will be equally relevant for those seeking other types of graduate degrees that involve knowledge of intermediate-level quantitative analysis.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Social Metrics I: Introduction to Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences

Open , Lecture—Fall

No prior background in economics or the social sciences is required, but a knowledge of basic statistics and high-school algebra is required.

The course is designed for all students interested in the social sciences who wish to understand the methodology and techniques involved in the estimation of structural relationships between variables. It is intended for students who wish to be able to carry out empirical work in their particular field, both at Sarah Lawrence College and beyond, and critically engage empirical work done by academic or professional social scientists. The practical hands-on approach taken in this course will be useful to those students who wish to do future conference projects in the social (or natural) sciences with significant empirical content. It will also be invaluable for students who are seeking internships, planning to enter the job market, or desiring to pursue graduate education in the social sciences and public policy. After taking this course, students will be able to analyze questions such as the following: What is the relationship between slavery and the development of capitalist industrialization in the United States? What effects do race, gender, and educational attainment have in the determination of wages? How does the female literacy rate affect the child mortality rate? How can one model the effect of economic growth on carbon dioxide emissions? What is the relationship among sociopolitical instability, inequality, and economic growth? How do geographic location and state spending affect average public-school teacher salaries? How do socioeconomic factors determine the crime rate in the United States? During the course of the semester, we will study all of these questions. The course is broadly split up into three sections. In the first part, we will study the application of statistical methods and techniques in order to: a) understand, analyze, and interpret a wide range of social phenomena such as those mentioned above; b) test hypotheses/theories regarding the possible links between variables; and c) make predictions about prospective changes in the economy. Social metrics is fundamentally a regression-based correlation methodology used to measure the overall strength, direction, and statistical significance between a “dependent” variable—the variable whose movement or change is to be explained—and one or more “independent” variables that will explain the movement or change in the dependent variable. Social metrics will require a detailed understanding of the mechanics, advantages, and limitations of the “classical” linear regression model. Thus, the first part of the course will cover the theoretical and applied statistical principles that underlie Ordinary Lest Squares (OLS) regression techniques. This part will cover the assumptions needed to obtain the Best Linear Unbiased Estimates of a regression equation, also known as the “BLUE” conditions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the assumptions regarding the distribution of a model’s error term and other BLUE conditions. We will also cover hypothesis testing, sample selection, and the critical role of the t- and F-statistic in determining the statistical significance of a social metric model and its associated slope or “β” parameters. In the second part of the course, we will address the three main problems associated with the violation of a particular BLUE assumption: multicollinearity, autocorrelation, and heteroscedasticity. We will learn how to identify, address, and remedy each of these problems. In addition, we will take a similar approach to understanding and correcting model specification errors. The third part of the course will focus on the analysis of historical time-series models and the study of long-run trend relationships between variables.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Fiscal Sociology, Public Finance, and the “Fiscal Crisis of the State”

Intermediate/Advanced , Seminar—Fall

Some prior background in economics is helpful but not mandatory.

Can a government run out of money, and are there limits to how high budget deficits and public debt can get? This a key question that we will investigate in this course by studying the factors that determine taxation, as well as the nature of money and public finance. The great economist Joseph Schumpeter said: “The spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the deeds its policy may prepare—all this and more is written in its fiscal history, stripped of all phrases. He who knows how to listen to its message here discerns the thunder of world history more clearly than anywhere else.” Following Schumpeter, before him Rudolf Goldscheid, and after him Lord Nicholas Kaldor, a number of scholars in recent years have attempted to construct a new fiscal sociology that would investigate the challenges of public finance; in particular, a government’s taxation capacity in the context of its political economy, legal framework, power relations, historically-constructed institutions, and even cultural norms. This course will explore the nexus between a government’s taxation capacity, money and public finance, central banking, and public debt. We will also study the legal and political contexts within which money and central banking arose as capitalism developed. The course is designed for students seeking a historically-informed and interdisciplinary approach to the study of these topics.

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Additional Information

Professional affiliations

Selected Publications

“Industrial Organization, Labor Relations, and Labor Market Outcomes”

Guest Editor for a special issue of Review of Keynesian Economics

(April 2014)

“State-Business Relations and the Financing of the Welfare State in Latin America: Challenges and Prospects (with Enrique Delamonica and Esteban Perez) (2014)”

Paper for UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) project on The Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Social Development

Featured in The Road to Addis and Beyond: Financing for Social Development, a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 2015

Policy as a Contested Process: Notes for Heterodox Economists

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics

Lee, F. S. and Cronin, B (eds.). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (2014)

International Economics: An Encyclopedia of Global Trade, Capital, Labor, Technology, and Innovation

International Economics: An Encyclopedia of Global Trade, Capital, Labor, Technology, and Innovation

Co-edited with Cyrus Bina. Greenwood Press (2014)

Alternative Theories of Competition: Challenges to the Orthodoxy

Alternative Theories of Competition: Challenges to the Orthodoxy

Co-editors: Bina, Cyrus and Mason, Patrick. Routledge Press (2012)

Strategic Competition, Dynamics, and the Role of the State: A New Perspective

Strategic Competition, Dynamics, and the Role of the State: A New Perspective

New Directions in Modern Economics Series, Edward Elgar Press (2010)

“Neoliberalism and the Developmental State: Considerations for the New Partnership for African Development (with Karl Botchway)”

In Benjamin Bobo and Herman Sentim-Aboagye (eds) Building Africa: the Core Truth

Africa World Press (2012)

“The Role of the State and Harrod’s Economic Dynamics. Toward a New Policy Agenda?”

International Journal of Political Economy

vol. 38, no. 1. (2009)

“The Search for a New Developmental State (with Karl Botchway)”

International Journal of Political Economy

Fall (Special issue on the developmental state)

“Surplus”

In William Darity, Jr., (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

2nd edition, 8 volumes, MacMillan Reference, Detroit, MI. (2007)

“Competition”

In William Darity, Jr., (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

2nd edition, 8 volumes, MacMillan Reference, Detroit, MI. (2007)

“Economic Growth”

In R. J. Barry Jones, (ed.) Encyclopedia of International Political Economy

Routledge Press, U.K. (2001)