Tag Archives: economic history

Political Economy: Origins, Meanings, Changes

“Political economy should be a human science.”                                                                    … Continue reading

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Probably the best “Acknowledgments” ever (5)

“Contrary to the fashion in most prefaces, I will not add that “all mistakes and shortcomings are entirely my responsibility.” That is sheer bourgeois subjectivism. Responsibility in matters of these sorts is always collective, especially with regard to the remedying … Continue reading

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The 2019 Zelizer Award for Best Book in Economic Sociology goes to ‘Starving the Beast’ by Monica Prasad

Northwestern University scholar Monica Prasad is the winner of the 2019 Zelizer Book Award given by the American Sociological Association’s Economic Sociology section for an outstanding book in the field. Prasad will receive the Award for her superb book Starving … Continue reading

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Leonora Barry: a pioneer statistician of women’s labour

by Eli Cook* Unfortunately yet unsurprisingly, the world of economic quantification was dominated by men in the nineteenth century. In honor of International Women’s Day, here is a story, excerpted from my book The Pricing of Progress, on Leonora Barry, one of … 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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World Inequality Report 2018: Great Data, Bright Analysis, Perturbing Reality

The World Inequality Lab led by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, Facundo Alvaredo and Lucas Chancel released today the first of its kind World Inequality Report 2018. The Report aims to become the comprehensive reference report on income and wealth inequality around … Continue reading

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The Pricing of Progress and the Origins of GDP

by Eli Cook* In the past few years, roughly half a dozen books have come out examining the meteoric rise and profound impact of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An economic indicator that measures the money-making capacities of a nation by … Continue reading

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Political Economy of Labor Repression in the United States

by Andrew Kolin* The task at hand is to place the political economy of repression within the contours of U.S. history and sketch in broad terms how, over time, repression is the product of dynamic and fixed relations between capital and … Continue reading

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Leveling mountains to define Corporate Liability

In the seminal 1909 case, New York Central R. Co. v. United States, 212 U.S. 481-499, the railroad argued that as a corporation it could not be held criminally liable for the unlawful acts (such as paying prohibited rebates to another company) … Continue reading

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India, Modernity and the Great Divergence – Why the Industrial Revolution and Modern Economic Growth first occurred in England

by Kaveh Yazdani*  How come the world’s eight wealthiest men are as rich as half the planet’s population? Why do the vast bulk of the super-rich come from the West despite the rise of Chinese and Indian capital? And why are … 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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Social Classes in Medieval Imperial China

Su Xun (1009-1066), a renowned writer of that period, presents a direct testimony on social classes and feudal system in Medieval Imperial China: “The fields are not the property of the men who till them, and those who own the fields do not … Continue reading

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Karl Polanyi on the Rise of Fascism and Market Economy

A spectre is haunting Europe and the world — the spectre of Fascism (veiled as defensive democracy and common-sense patriotism) and authoritarian neoliberalism (disguised as social protectionism and perceived by laymen as decisive populism). The bothering question of our troubling present is not whether history repeats … Continue reading

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Economic fortune telling: forecasting to profit

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable”, famously remarked John Kenneth Galbraith. “Professional” fortune tellers and clairvoyant have accompanied mankind, receiving great respect, throughout the ages. Therefore, one can say, it was only a matter … Continue reading

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Alexis de Tocqueville on democracy, materialism and political economy

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) was a notable French political scientist and historian, best known for Democracy in America — a perceptive and groundbreaking analysis of the social, political and economic system of the United States. This four-volume book is brimming with … Continue reading

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