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Tag Archives: Economic History

Three Globalizations, Not Two: Rethinking the History and Economics of Trade and Globalization

 By Thomas Palley (Guest blogger)The conventional wisdom is there have been two globalizations in the modern era. The first began around 1870 and ended in 1914. The second began in 1945 and is still underway. This paper challenges that view and argues there have been three globalizations, not two. The first half of the paper provides empirical evidence for the three globalizations hypothesis. The second half discusses its analytical implications. The Victorian first globalization and...

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Bill Mitchell — The abdication of the Left – redux – Part 1

Former Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky was quoted as saying during the 1979 Austrian election campaign that: “I am less worried about the budget deficits than by the need for the state to create jobs where private industry fails”. That is the statement of a social democrat. That is a progressive Left view. In June 1982, with French unemployment at 7.2 per cent (having risen from 2.4 per cent in 1974 after a near decade of austerity under the right-wing Prime Minister Raymond Barre), the...

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An Analysis of Financial Flows in the Canadian Economy

An essential but perhaps overlooked way of looking at the economy is a sector financial balance approach. Pioneered by the late UK economist Wynne Godley, this approach starts with National Accounts data (called Financial Flow Accounts) for four broad sectors of the economy: households, corporations, government and non-residents. Here’s how it works: in any given quarter or year each sector can be a net borrower or lender, but the sum of the four sectors’ borrowing/lending must equal to...

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Lars P. Syll — From Wicksell to Le Bourva and MMT

Some history of economics in light of economic history.  The basis of MMT in accounting and balance sheets is not new, not is its operational approach to money. What is new is that those writing previous to the collapse of Bretton Woods when Nixon shut the gold window for settlement of international trade were dealing not dealing with the current monetary system.  FDR had taken the dollar off gold decades earlier. MMT is an upgrade to previous thinking that is based on the new...

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Rethinking the economics of extreme events

Review of Worst-Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance by Frank Ackerman *** Long ago economics was termed “the dismal science,” but in recent years that title has arguably been passed on to climate science, with its regular and dire warnings that humanity needs to rapidly transition off of its use of fossil fuels for energy. In the face of such calls to action, progress has been frustratingly slow. The 2015 Paris Agreement offers some hope, as does the small-but-growing share...

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Michael Hudson — Origins of Money and Interest: Palatial Credit, not Barter

Neolithic and Bronze Age economies operated mainly on credit. Because of the time gap between planting and harvesting, few payments were made at the time of purchase. When Babylonians went to the local alehouse, they did not pay by carrying grain around in their pockets. They ran up a tab to be settled at harvest time on the threshing floor. The ale women who ran these “pubs” would then pay most of this grain to the palace for consignments advanced to them during the crop year. These...

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