John Casey Nicolarsen

Undergraduate Discipline

Economics

BA, Creighton University. MA, PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City. General interests include: economic theory; history of economic thought; political ecology; the nature, origins, and functioning of money and monetary production economies; law and economics; economic modeling; economic philosophy; methodological issues and the process of generating economic theories; and, heterodox economics (e.g., “original”/“radical” institutional, Marxian, post-Keynesian, feminist, and ecological economics). Recent interests and research gravitates toward issues of wage policy (income and wealth distribution); public finance, including flows and services between federal and state governments; fiscal and monetary policy; legal frameworks, their evolution, and the interrelations of law and economics; price systems and pricing strategies; the conceptualization and interaction between economies and ecological dimensions; the intersection and theoretical foundations among money, value theory, and accounting systems; and alternative provisioning arrangements and the production of novel qualitative measurement indicators. Determined to help reorient and reinvigorate the social science of economics as a truly interdisciplinary and theoretically pluralist endeavor for achieving better social outcomes. Author of “Value, Money, and Accounting for Pax Ecologica: Contouring a Price-Coordination System for Ecological-Economic Provisioning” (Dissertation. April, 2017). Research scholar at the Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. SLC, 2017-

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Economics

Intermediate Microeconomics: Reality, Methodology, Theory, and Policy

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

What assumptions, tools, methods, practices, narratives, 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? Arguably, microeconomics now comprises an extensive and growing field of research and, due to the potential for aggregating microeconomic data and analysis, suggests explicit and far-reaching societal implications and consequences for macroeconomic-oriented analysis and policy. Among other topics, this semester-long seminar in intermediate microeconomics will offer an inquiry into economic decision-making vis-à-vis: theories of demand, 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; political dimensions and repercussions; theories of value; and distributional outcomes (e.g., effects due to differences in race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation). 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, and institutionalist (heterodox schools of thought). Conference work will look to situate students (microeconomists) as keen and discerning interdisciplinary social scientists and will consist of research projects encouraging students to generate new knowledge and theoretical insights concerning real-world microeconomic phenomena of particular interest to them.

Faculty

Resource Economics and Political Ecology

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

Humankind’s ability to radically shape, alter, degrade, and threaten the Earth’s system(s) is strongly evidenced. From stratigraphic (geological) markers, to plastic and electronic waste, to climate change, to nonrenewable resource depletion and soil, water, and air spoliation, the consequences of human activity-induced (anthropogenic) provisioning are well-known, unceasing, and, it appears, accumulating and intensifying. Given the impact and interaction between humankind and the natural environment, far less certainty exists as to how to conceptualize, give narrative to, and address the complex, evolving, and continuous influence between humankind and its environment. As for the discipline of economics, significant tensions exist as to what tools, methods, vision, qualitative and quantitative measurement indicators, and theoretical foundations are appropriate and best suited for voicing, revealing, stewarding, and redressing existing and future ecological challenges. Along with established and significant topics such as sustainability, externalities, pollution, regulation, global governance, benefit-cost analysis, taxation and subsidy, property rights and the commons, competition and markets, biophysical realities, planetary boundaries, consumption, and environmental ethics, this yearlong seminar will: 1) investigate distinct and alternative methodological, analytical, and theoretical tools of various schools of economic thought and their approaches to environmental concerns (e.g., mainstream-neoclassical, ecological economics, post-Keynesian, Marxian, feminist/ecofeminist, institutionalist, Sraffian, behavioral); 2) examine and stress issues of environmental, racial, and intergenerational justice; unequal ecological exchange; trade and development; labor and ecological arbitrage; legal, political, and public policy dimensions; monetary considerations; value theory; and social costs (scientific-technological inefficiencies); 3) consider topics such as degrowth (décroissance); deep, shallow, social, and dark ecology; thermodynamics; environmental input-output analysis; systems thinking; and industrial ecology; and 4) critically explore, appraise, envision, and theorize as to existing and alternative provisioning possibilities and theses such as ecocapitalist, green capitalism, ecosocialist, neoliberal, capitalocene, anthropocene, and subsistence and sufficiency perspectives. Conference production (work) will look to situate students (economists) as keen and discerning interdisciplinary social scientists and will consist of research projects where a broad range of formats or mediums will be accepted, offering the opportunity to examine a topic of personal interest concerning the complex and evolving interaction between humankind’s economic system(s) and the Earth’s system(s).

Faculty