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The American Political Economy Tradition

Summary:
If Cohen and De Long (2016) are to be believed, there is an American Political Economy tradition, that harks back to Alexander Hamilton, that goes against the free market canon of the profession. In their view, the American Political Economy tradition consist of an interventionist approach to economic policy, that arguably should be seen as neomercantilist [1]. Classical political economy, as represented by their main figures in the United Kingdom, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, upheld the laissez-faire and free market tradition, and in this view the same would be true for the marginalist or neoclassical tradition. In that respect, some might see a continuity between both schools of thought and the American Political Economy tradition would be a somewhat heterodox tradition from its

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The American Political Economy Tradition
If Cohen and De Long (2016) are to be believed, there is an American Political Economy tradition, that harks back to Alexander Hamilton, that goes against the free market canon of the profession. In their view, the American Political Economy tradition consist of an interventionist approach to economic policy, that arguably should be seen as neomercantilist [1]. Classical political economy, as represented by their main figures in the United Kingdom, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, upheld the laissez-faire and free market tradition, and in this view the same would be true for the marginalist or neoclassical tradition. In that respect, some might see a continuity between both schools of thought and the American Political Economy tradition would be a somewhat heterodox tradition from its inception, at least on policy issues.

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Matias Vernengo
Econ Prof at @BucknellU Co-editor of ROKE & Co-Editor in Chief of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

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