Tag Archives: economic history

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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The politics of fiscal policies: the lessons of history

Throughout the recent years of the crisis, the EU bodies and the German leaders have constantly oppressed Greece. They have pushed Greek people towards the abyss of austerity in the name of “fiscal responsibility” and “self-evident economic truths”. But essentially, it is … Continue reading

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Law and labor in the American political economy

In 1906, a German distinguished (somewhat neglected) economist and sociologist Werner Sombart published Why is there no Socialism in the United States? – a book which will become a famous work on American exceptionalism in this respect to this day.  There are a number of … Continue reading

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Fiscal embeddedness: taxation policy as an institutional tool of state-building

Following Joseph Schumpeter’s assertion that “the public finance is one of the best starting points for an investigation of society, especially, though not exclusively, of its political life”, I find that the multidisciplinary study of the sources, practices and consequences of … Continue reading

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Money is a mode of governance in a material world of capitalism

Money travels the modern world in disguise. It looks like a convention of human exchange – a commodity like gold or a medium like language. But its history reveals that money is a very different matter. It is an institution … Continue reading

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Who is an economist? Here is Keynes’ answer

In 1924 John Maynard Keynes wrote an obituary essay for a prominent economist Alfred Marshall, one of the founders of the English neoclassical economics and Keynes’ former tutor and academic patron. In this fascinating piece of work Keynes astoundingly mulls over Marshall’s scholarship and intellectual life. Joseph Schumpeter, in his eulogy of … Continue reading

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