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Humanity and Nature in Economic Thought: Searching for the Organic Origins of the Economy argues that organic elements seen as incompatible with rational homo economicus have been left out of, or downplayed in, mainstream histories of economic thought. The chapters show that organic aspects (that is, aspects related to sensitive, cognitive or social human qualities) were present in the economic ideas of a wide range of important thinkers including Hume, Smith, Malthus, Mill, Marshall, Keynes, Hayek and the Polanyi brothers. Moreover, the contributors to this thought-provoking volume reveal in turn that these aspects were crucial to how these key figures thought about the economy. This stimulating collection of essays will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of the history of economic thought, economic philosophy, heterodox economics, moral philosophy and intellectual history.
Piero Sraffa and Joan Robinson, both iconic Cambridge economists, were highly influenced by the economic theory of Karl Marx, and integrated important elements of Marx's economic system into their theories. This book argues, based on published and unpublished documents, that the work of Sraffa and Robinson can in fact be considered as essentially post-Keynesian neo-Marxist. The first part of the book reviews the intellectual development of several key thinkers to this neo-Marxist current in economic thought: Kalecki, Steindl, Baran and Sweezy. Part One and Part Two separately examine Robinson and Sraffa's works and questions how they fit into this specific neo-Marxist current, either building on it (in Robinson's case), or following another direction (in Sraffa's case). Part Three observes Robinson's theory of economic growth and its relationship to the views of Marx and Kalecki. Overall, Cuyvers demonstrates how their thought processes share characteristics with neo-Marxist key ideological ideas, such as stating or implying the labour theory of value as either redundant or wrong, emphasising the role of class struggle in the distribution of income and rejecting Marx's falling rate of profits. Following on from ideas briefly introduced in Cuyvers's Economic Ideas of Marx's Capital (2017), this book will particularly appeal to readers interested in the history of economic thought, the work of Sraffa, Robinson and Marx, post-Keynesian economics and neo-Marxism.
Drawing in particular on the work of Sraffa, Smith, Ricardo and Marx, the essays in this volume explore the characteristic features of the Classical economists' approach to economic problems, and the renewal of interest in that approach in modern times.In recent years, new material has been made available on both Sraffa and Marx which have made new insights and interpretations possible. The release of Sraffa's hitherto unpublished papers and correspondence has led to reconsideration of doctrinal questions such as to what extent Sraffa built upon, or deviated from the analyses of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and other representatives of the classical British school and Karl Marx. A major theme is also to what extent we can today, equipped with Sraffa's insights and analytical tools, re-interpret and develop ideas of classical authors, which they could present only in primitive forms, on technological progress, exhaustible resources and other contemporary issues. On Marx, the publication of the MEGA2 edition of the works, papers and correspondence of Marx and Engels also gives rise to a reconsideration of this relationship, given Marx's disenchantment with some of his own work and return to ideas advocated by Ricardo, especially as regards the long-term tendency of the rate of profits. Finally, the classical notion of competition and monopoly deserve to be scrutinized carefully again and frequent misinterpretations in the literature refuted.This volume is vital reading for scholars of classical economics, Marx and Sraffa, and the history of economic thought more broadly. It also deals with issues in the areas of machinery and technical progress, joint production, and economic development and growth.
David Ricardo has been acclaimed - or vilified - for merits he would never have dreamt of, or sins for which he was entirely innocent. Entrenched mythology labels him as a utilitarian economist, an enemy of the working class, an impractical theorist, a scientist with 'no philosophy at all' and the author of a formalist methodological revolution. Exploring a middle ground between theory and biography, this book explores the formative intellectual encounters of a man who came to economic studies via other experiences, thus bridging the gap between the historical Ricardo and the economist's Ricardo.The chapters undertake a thorough analysis of Ricardo's writings in their context, asking who was speaking, what audience was being addressed, with what communicative intentions, using what kind of lexicon and communicative conventions, and starting with what shared knowledge. The work opens in presenting the different religious communities with which Ricardo was in touch. It goes on to describe his education in the leading science of the time - geology - before he turned to the study of political economy. Another chapter discusses five 'philosophers' - students of logic, ethics and politics - with whom he was in touch. From correspondence, manuscripts and publications, the closing chapters reconstruct, firstly, Ricardo's ideas on scientific method, the limits of the 'abstract science' and its application, and, secondly, his ideas on ethics and politics and their impact on strategies for improving the condition of the working class. This book sheds new light on Ricardian economics, providing an invaluable service to readers of economic methodology, philosophy of economics, the history of economic thought, political thought and philosophy.
Macroeconomic Analysis in the Classical Tradition explains how the influence of Keynes's macroeconomics, including his changed definitions of some key macroeconomic concepts, has impeded many analysts' ability to readily resolve disputes in modern macroeconomics. Expanding on his earlier work-Macroeconomics without the Errors of Keynes (2019)-the author delves into more aspects of macroeconomic theory and argues for a revision of Keynes's contribution to the field. Attention is given to theories and concepts such as Say's Law, the quantity theory of money, the liquidity trap, the permanent income hypothesis, 100% money, and the Phillips curve analysis. The chapters work to build a careful critique of Keynes's economics and make the case that the classical macroeconomics of Smith, Say, Ricardo, Mill, and others could help resolve present-day policy disagreements and redefine macroeconomic priorities.This book provides essential reading for advanced students and scholars with an interest in the foundations of Keynes's theories and current debates within macroeconomic policy.
Foundations of Organisational Economics: Histories and Theories of the Firm and Production delves into a range of key topics to do with the history of the mainstream approach to the theory of production and the theory of the firm. This includes the frameworks used to analyse production, the division of labour and its application to the firm and the development of the neoclassical model of production.The first topic explored is the change from a normative approach to a largely positive approach to the analysis of the theory of production, which occurred around the seventeenth century. The next topic is an examination of the relationship (or the lack of a relationship) between the division of labour and the theory of the i rm. In the fourth chapter, the focus is on the development of the proto-neoclassical approach to production. Here, the development of the theories of monopoly, oligopoly and perfect competition are discussed, as well as the theory of input utilisation. Chapter 5 looks at Marshall's idea of the representative firm, which was the main early neoclassical approach to the theory of industry-level production. The penultimate chapter considers the criticisms made of the neoclassical model between 1940 and 1970. This work is an illuminating reference for students and researchers of the history of economic thought, industrial organisation, microeconomic theory and organisational studies.
In the seventeenth century, England saw Holland as an economic power to learn from and compete with. English Economic Thought in the Seventeenth Century: Rejecting the Dutch Model analyses English economic discourse during this period, and explores the ways in which England's economy was shaped by the example of its Dutch rival.Drawing on an impressive range of primary and secondary sources, the chapters explore four key areas of controversy in order to illuminate the development of English economic thought at this time. These areas include: the herring industry; the setting of interest rates; banking and funds; and land registration and credit. The links between each of these debates are highlighted, and attention is also given to the broader issues of international trade, social reform and credit.This book is of strong interest to advanced students and researchers of the history of economic thought, economic history and intellectual history.
This book presents a positive account of Aristotle's theory of political economy, arguing that it contains elements that may help us better understand and resolve contemporary social and economic problems.The book considers how Aristotle's work has been utilized by scholars including Marx, Polanyi, Rawls, Nussbaum and Sen to develop solutions to the problem of injustice. It then goes on to present a new Social Welfare Function (SWF) as an application of Aristotle's theory. In exploring how Aristotle's theories can be applied to contemporary social welfare analysis, the book offers a study that will be of relevance to scholars of the history of economic thought, political theory and the philosophy of economics.
Despite abundant literature on transaction costs, there is little to no in-depth analysis regarding what the transaction is or how it works. Drawing on both Old and New Institutional Economics and on a variety of interdisciplinary sources, this monograph traces the history of the meaning of transaction in institutional economics, mapping its topicality and use over time. This manuscript treats the idea of 'transaction' as a construct with legal, competitive and political dimensions, and connects different approaches within institutional economics. The book covers the contributions of key thinkers from different schools, including (in alphabetical order) Ronald H. Coase, John R. Commons, Robert Lee Hale, Oliver Hart, Mancur Olson, Thorstein Veblen and Olver E. Williamson. This book will be of interest to advanced students and researchers of institutional economics, law and economics, and economics, and the history of economic thought.
Thomas Hodgskin (1787-1869) is today a largely unknown figure, sometimes considered to be a forerunner of Karl Marx. Yet a closer look at Hodgskin's works reveals that he was actually a committed advocate of laissez-faire economics and enthusiastic about labor-saving machinery and the Industrial Revolution, with a genuine interest in the well-being of the working classes. This book places him in the tradition of classical liberalism, where he belongs-as a disciple of Adam Smith, but even less tolerant of government power than Smith was.Classical Liberalism and the Industrial Working Class: The Economic Thought of Thomas Hodgskin will be of interest to advanced students and scholars in the history of economic thought, economic history and the history of political thought.
F. A. Hayek and the Epistemology of Politics is an exploration of an important problem that has largely been ignored heretofore: the problem of policymaker ignorance and the consequences of limited political knowledge. Scott Scheall explores the significance of the fact that the possibilities for effective political action are constrained by policymakers' epistemic limitations. The book offers an explanation for why policymaking often fails and why constituents, whatever their political affiliations, are so often disappointed with political leaders.In this philosophical examination of his work, Hayek's ideas are not merely discussed, analyzed, and contextualized, but extended; the book both draws and defends previously unrecognized implications from the Hayekian canon.The book will be of interest to scholars of the works of F. A. Hayek and his intellectual adversaries, to policymakers, and to those of all political, philosophical, and social-scientific persuasions.
Throughout the history of economic thought, interest in business cycles and economic crises has sometimes been observed to rise during times of crises, recessions and depressions. However, the treatment of this topic in the literature has generally been merely anecdotal.This book presents a bibliometric and econometric analysis of the development of business cycle and crises theory and its connection to economic developments, particularly since the early 20th century. The book explores the connection between economic development and the literature, utilising systematic bibliometric and rigorous econometric methods and drawing its data from a wide range of sources. This volume provides quantitative answers to questions which have not previously been subject to a precise and comprehensive empirical analysis.This book will be of great interest to historians of economic thought for its novel treatment of a much-discussed topic, and its well-founded and transparent results.
This book offers a historical exploration of the genesis of feminist economics and gender economics, as well as their theoretical and methodological differences. Its narrative also serves to embed both within a broader cultural context. Although both feminist economics and gender neoclassical economics belong to the cultural process related to the central role of the political economy in promoting women's emancipation and empowerment, they differ in many aspects. Feminist economics, mainly influenced by women's studies and feminism, rejected neoclassical economics, while gender neoclassical economics, mainly influenced by home economics and the new home economics, adopted the neoclassical economics' approach to gender issues. The book includes diverse case studies, which also highlight the continuity between the story of women's emancipation and the more recent developments of feminist and gender studies. This volume will be of great interest to researchers and academia in the fields of feminist economics, gender studies, and the history of economic thought.
Although Otto Neurath left his mark across an array of fields in the first half of the twentieth century, he was trained as an economist and wrote extensively about economics. He questioned the philosophical foundations of economic concepts, the fuzziness of economic terminology, the unwarranted reduction of economic theorizing to matters of price, and the misplaced reliance upon certain quantitative approaches.This book intends to find a place for Otto Neurath in the history of economic thought by examining and analyzing his economic ideas, both on their own terms, albeit with a critical perspective, and in the broader context of their impact. Neurath may be seen as a pioneer in posing ideas and approaches now considered heterodox.This book will be of interest to students and researchers of the history of economic thought, and especially those interested in the evolution of heterodox economics in the twentieth century.
This book presents essays by an outstanding team of international specialists and covers a wide range of topics, including (inter alia) the relationships between the Austrian and Swedish theories of the business cycle, the on-going debates between Austrians and (Post) Keynesians, Schumpeter's 'Walrasian' stand in the socialist calculation debate, and the Austrian roots of Neo-Institutional economics. The studies stress the unique Austrian contributions to economic methodology and to the theory of entrepreneurship, while revealing unexpected methodological and philosophical similarities between, among others, Hayek and Marx.
The theory of the firm did not exist, in any serious manner, until around 1970. Only then did the current theory of the firm literature begin to emerge, based largely upon the work of Ronald Coase and to a lesser degree Frank Knight. It was work by Armen Alchian, Robert Crawford, Harold Demsetz, Michael Jensen, Benjamin Klein, William Meckling and Oliver Williamson, among others, that drove the upswing in interest in the firm among mainstream economists.This accessible book provides a valuable overview of the 'prehistory' of the firm. Spanning an impressive timeline, it delves into Antiquity, the Medieval era, the pre-classical economics period and the 19th and 20th centuries. Next, the book traces the theoretical contributions from pre-classical, classical and neoclassical economics.It will be illuminating reading for students and researchers of the history of economic thought, industrial organization, microeconomic theory and business history.