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Home / Tag Archives: History of Economics

Tag Archives: History of Economics

The end of Friedmanomics?

Friedman's adviseesZachary Carter, of Price of Peace fame (a good book that I recommend, btw), wrote an interesting piece on Milton Friedman's legacy, which I think is, as Hyman Minsky said of Joan Robinson's work, wrong in incisive ways. But even before we get to his main point, that the era of Friedmanomics is gone, it is worth thinking a bit about the way he approaches the history of ideas. This is clearly a moral tale for Carter, with good guys and bad guys. Gunfight at high noon. It is...

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Lars P. Syll’s — The origins of MMT

More keeper quotes. The idea behind MMT is as old as the hills. But previously, it was only a possible scenario, whereas MMT describes the existing monetary system since 1971 — the "pure creditary system" that Knut Wicksell had envisioned as a thought experiment.  Keynes said it would be useful to educated people in this in order to remove the shibboleths of the past that prevent proper fiscal response now. How prescient he was. Received knowledge is sticky even when it is shown to be...

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Macroeconomics in Germany: The forgotten lesson of Hjalmar Schacht — Biagio Bossone, Stefano Labini

As Hitler rose to power, in January 1933 the economic situation in Germany was dire. Stocks of raw materials had been depleted, factories and warehouses lay empty, and about 6.5 million people (about 25% of the domestic workforce) were unemployed and on the verge of malnutrition, while the country was crushed by debt and its foreign exchange reserves approached zero.Yet, from 1933-1938, thanks to Schacht, the economy recovered spectacularly (Figure 1).2 Schacht’s objective to jumpstart the...

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Revisiting Education of Economics – Dr. Omer Javed

Economics and teaching economics in Pakistan. Good short summary of the history of economics. Curiously, he doesn't mention MMT or even Post Keynesianism, taking a decidedly institutional approach. MMT economists draw on Post Keynesianism and institutional economics heavily, although these are not the only influences.  Global Village SpaceRevisiting Education of Economics – Dr. Omer Javed Omer Javed, institutional political economist,who previously worked at International Monetary Fund...

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Thorstein Veblen: Economics “is a `Science’ of Complaisant Interpretations, Apologies, and Projected Remedies” — Timothy Taylor

I always enjoy reading Thorstein Veblen, partly because his writing strays back and forth across the line between "raising questions of real interest" to "just plain old dyspeptic and cantankerous." His 1918 essay "The Higher Learning In America:A Memorandum On the Conduct of Universities By Business Men" is full of comments from both categories, often closely overlapping. It's also the source of one of the liveliest insults to the field of economics, that economics is "a `science' of...

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Alfred Marshall in 1885: “The Present Position of Economics” —Timothy Taylor

This is a key observation of Alfred Marshall that predicts the development of post-classical economics, which came to be dominated by neoclassical economics, although it was overshadowed for a time by Keynesianism, owing to the pressures of the time (war, depression, and another war). The key observation is this: Marshall notes that when people think about the main intellectual contribution of Adam Smith, they often point to what we now refer to as the "invisible hand" idea--that when...

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Finance, Class, and the Birth of Neoclassical Economics: The Marginalist Revolution Revisited — Yair Kaldor

Value theory in economics. Economic Sociology and Political Economy Finance, Class, and the Birth of Neoclassical Economics: The Marginalist Revolution Revisited Yair Kaldor | PhD candidate in the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a member of Koah LaOvdim (“Power to the Workers”), an Israeli labor union.

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Lars P. Syll — Arrow-Debreu and the Bourbaki illusion of rigour

It's about mathematical economics and its limitations. Don't let the title scare you off. Not at all wonkish (no math), although it helps if have some background in the controversy.Basically, it's Plato (formalism) versus Aristotle (empiricism). Most mathematicians today are Platonists, while most scientists are Aristotelians. But that is another story.Lars P. Syll’s BlogArrow-Debreu and the Bourbaki illusion of rigour Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

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Why do we need a theory of value? — Matias Vernengo

The theory of value and distribution is at the heart of economics. To be clear, when I say that it is at the center, it means that discussions of almost any topic in economics, in one way or another, depend on a certain theoretical position about the theory of value and distribution. However, most economists have no clue about it, about the centrality of value. Not only they don't understand the original and now infamous labor theory of value (LTV), that dominated between Petty and Ricardo...

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