Welcome! I am Thodoris Koutsobinas, Professor in the Department of Administrative Science and Technology at the University of Peloponnese, Greece.
My research focuses on Keynesian behavioural economics and global finance for achieving economic prosperity; innovation in public policy engineering; the impact of culture change in modern capitalism; enriched individual decision-making and well-being for crisis prevention. Besides my academic career, I have advised policy makers in Europe, Africa and Asia on how culture change constitutes an important aspect of modern economic and social engineering.
My research methodology aspires to be eclectic and open-minded, pragmatic and anthropocentric. My goal is to create the best possible public policy solutions that challenge one-sided, short-lived and often ideological structures that harm personal and social well-being. My recent book, The Political Economy of Status: Superstars, Markets and Culture Change analyses the impact of status markets on the behavior of post-modern individual and its social effects including inequality. This approach challenges the image of culture as being unrelated to economic welfare. In fact, media fascination with superstars and consumption goods amplify positional concerns for all, distort the aspirations and decision-making of the middle class and cause relative deprivation. Building on themes first identified in institutional economics, my approach analyses extensively the behavioural evidence from modern cutting-edge interdisciplinary research including psychology, sociology and anthropology and contributes constructively and imaginatively to a new genre of economic analysis that proposes redistributive culture change policies targeted to assist the underprivileged in modern capitalism. My research has been funded by NATO, the European Commission and the Greek Government.
My major view is that we cannot rely on changing the social systems, people must proactively adopt culture change too. This happens because the new world of individual possibilities offered by technology advances and globalization creates a complex and uncertain environment. In this new reality, public policies cannot be effective unless they are strongly enriched with capacities that are generated by behavioral, cultural, social and political strands of analysis.
One example, which describes how my research interests have been shaped over the years is the state of macroeconomics today. Very long ago, Samuelson said that Keynes’s General Theory “paves for a theory of expectation, but it hardly provides one”. Seventy years after and in contemporary socio-economic reality, I often shake my head when I think that this lacuna remains quite topical not only for Keynesian Economics but also for Institutional Economics. Thus, despite computational developments, a great deal of theoretical advances have to be framed behaviorally. For this reason, I favour relatively simple economic models, which however are coherent in terms of their micro-foundations and they are manageable to understand better the real world.
I have published over 35 articles as chapters in books and in international academic journals including Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Review of Political Economy, International Journal of Social Economics, Economies et Societes, Economia Internazionale, Real World Economy Review and in other publication outlets. I have currently authored also over 15 working papers, which range from mathematical macroeconomics to behavioural economics and methodology and, further on, to culture political economy. I also work on two book projects: One on Finance (with Clas Wihlborg) and another on the Eurozone Crisis.
As an economic theorist, my basic research interests include Keynesian and Post-Keynesian Economics, Behavioural Economics, Culture Political Economy, Social Economics and International Economic Policy and Business Management. I also develop interdisciplinary work in economic psychology, economic sociology, microeconomic behaviour and political economy of culture, an example of which is the analysis in my recent book The Political Economy of Status: Superstars, Markets and Culture Change. My research work extends from sensible macro-models to sophisticated economics processes from beauty contests, superstar markets and social influence, animal spirits and psychological expectations and global financial imbalances to social problems of post-collapse in capitalism and culture change.
Overall, my research approach aims at being open-minded and interdisciplinary with an inclination for eclectic realism and pragmatism. It combines the proposals of earlier generation grand theory economists such as Keynes, Veblen, Galbraith, Kahn, Kaldor, Minsky, Tobin and Davidson with insights from the work of modern economists and social scientists such as Frank, Shiller, Krugman, Bourdieu, Rorty, Jameson and others.