Interested in many subjects, I consider myself to be a practitioner of political economy, a field that includes normally-defined economics only as a (major) part. Political economy also includes elements of psychology, sociology, political science, history, philosophy, and anthropology. (Biology and physics are also interesting to me; I majored in chemistry in my first year as an undergraduate.) A key difference between political economy and mainstream or orthodox (“neoclassical”) economics is that it tries to use theory to explain political decisions rather than treating them as unexplainable, and/or unexamined. My brand of political economy takes into account the large class differences in political power, so that those with large net worth have disproportionate clout in political decision-making. I see capitalism (which is much more than mere markets) as a human-created institution that will not last forever and has its own “laws of motion” (even if we don’t as yet know what they are exactly). I see the divisions between the social sciences as largely artificial. Worse, they can interfere with one's ability to understand the world. (In fact, even narrowly-defined economics should be seen as a sub-set of sociology, since it deals with relationships among people.) Rather, the theoretical and empirical resources I use should be limited only by the question that I am trying to answer. To understand important questions, it is important to look at not just the workings of markets (and the technical details of economic theory) but also artificial institutions such as capitalism, gender, ethnic hierarchies, and international inequality, plus the historical process. Of course, it is important to know up-to-date orthodox economic theory, especially of the more sophisticated sort. (Sophisticated orthodox theory is empirically-oriented rather than trying to force the world into the rubric of perfect markets, general equilibrium, and the like.) My more specialized work centers on macroeconomics, along with “neighboring” fields such as labor economics, money & banking, and economic history. I apply a dynamic-disequilibrium approach (deriving from such classical economists as Adam Smith and Karl Marx, along with moderns such as John Maynard Keynes, Michal Kalecki, Karl Polanyi, and Joseph Schumpeter). I am interested in such historical issues as the origins of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Roemer's "General" Theory of Exploitation Is a Special Case: The Limits of Walrasian Marxism (with Gary Dymski), Economics Faculty Works (1991)
In a series of recent writings, John Roemer (1982a, 1982b, 1985, 1988) has made a...