Category Archives: Papers

What is Economics? Read Keynes’ definition

In July 1938, an English economist Roy Harrod sent John Maynard Keynes his lecture “Scope and Method of Economics” which he intended to deliver as a Presidential Address at one of the sections of the British Association. In his reply, after … Continue reading

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The Goose and the Common — The Privatization of Public Space

“The [following 18th century folk] poem is one of the pithiest condemnations of the English enclosure movement, the process of fencing off common land and turning it into private property. In a few lines, the poem manages to criticize double standards, … Continue reading

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Paul Samuelson: Chicago is not so much a place as a state of mind

In 1954 a future Nobel laureate in economic sciences Paul Samuelson published one of his seminal articles “The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure”, which formalized the concept of public goods (which he called “collective consumption goods”) — i.e. goods that … Continue reading

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The Washington Consensus: Sociology of Economics and History of Ideas

In 1989, John Williamson, a fellow at the Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC which previously advised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, presented a background paper to a conference aimed to explore how extensive were the policy reforms that were then … Continue reading

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How 19th century finance and housing associations shaped 20th century housing regimes in Germany and the United States

Why has Germany become a country of tenants with a housing policy directed at private and public rental construction? On the other hand, why has the United States turned into a homeownership country? In an interesting article, Sebastian Kohl (University … Continue reading

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The Political Economy and Economic Sociology of Brexit

In the beginning, it is said, was Brexit. “Brexit is a revolution”, it is said from the right and by the left. Revolution, though, is a Janus-faced concept that “evokes dialectically linked oppositions: light and darkness; rupture and continuity; liberation and oppression; … Continue reading

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Christmas and conspicuous consumption: “People want something that shows money”

The commercialization of Christmas in the light of — and in the wake of — industrial capitalism in the UK and US during the 19th century– is a very interesting subject matter. (At the end of this post I added two links to … Continue reading

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Economics is an Imperial Science

George Stigler, a founding member of Mont Pelerin Society and a key preacher of neoliberal economics,  on what he proudly calls “economist-missionaries” (1984: 304) : “So economics is an imperial science: it has been aggressive in addressing central problems in a considerable number … Continue reading

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The early Karl Polanyi: Interpreting “Socialist Accounting”

We are all Polanyians now. Karl Polanyi is probably one of the most famous theorists among social scientists today. It is almost impossible not to come across Polanyi’s citations and references in a very wide range of researches over the last … Continue reading

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Corporate Governance — for the society and the environment

Our societies are all scarred by Milton Friedman’s creed that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”; our economies are all wounded by corporations’ obsessive pursuit for short-term profit maximization; regrettably, we all pay the price of dodgy and excessive corporate … Continue reading

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