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Peter Boettke and I had taken Don Lavoie's graduate Comparative Economic Systems course during the Fall of 1985. Lavoie had just published Rivalry and Central Planning …
Peter Boettke and I had taken Don Lavoie's graduate Comparative Economic Systems course during the Fall of 1985. Lavoie had just published Rivalry and Central Planning (Lavoie, 1985b) and National Economic Planning: What is left? (Lavoie, 1985a), and was at the cusp of establishing himself as a major player in the comparative systems and contemporary critique of socialist planning literature.1
In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices…
In the original history of the socialist calculation debate (e.g., Bergson, 1948), Oscar Lange proved that bureaucrats can find the equivalent of equilibrium prices through trial and error. In the revised history of this debate (e.g., Caldwell, 1997; Lavoie, 1985), Lange proposed an erroneous solution to the calculation problem. Dynamic entrepreneurial rivalry moves prices toward equilibrium. Lange and other “Market Socialists” allies thought only in terms of a static competitive market equilibrium that excludes the role entrepreneurs play in adjusting prices.
This chapter examines Karl Polanyi's critique of formalism in economics and his case for a more institutional economics based upon a reconstitution of the facts of economic…
This chapter examines Karl Polanyi's critique of formalism in economics and his case for a more institutional economics based upon a reconstitution of the facts of economic life on as wide an historical basis as possible. The argument below reviews Polanyi's argument with regard to the relation between economic anthropology and comparative economics, the contrast between the formalist and substantive approaches to economic analysis, the notion of an economistic fallacy, the most important limitations of the conventional formalist economics approach, and the nature and import of the new departure that Polanyi envisioned.
Extensions/applications/revisions of the Marxian vision ofsocialism can broadly be categorized into two polar strands: thecentralized and the decentralized strands of…
Extensions/applications/revisions of the Marxian vision of socialism can broadly be categorized into two polar strands: the centralized and the decentralized strands of socialist economic systems. Explores the main postulates of a decentralized version of a socialist economic system as provided by Kautsky, Luxembourg, Bernstein, Bukharin and Lange. The centralized strand of socialist economic systems has been elaborated drawing mainly from the writings of Lenin, Trotsky, Dobb, Sweezy and Baran.
It is noted that the optimal systems of radical free enterprise andradical socialism are extremes of intellectualising science. Eachexcludes the thought of the other…
It is noted that the optimal systems of radical free enterprise and radical socialism are extremes of intellectualising science. Each excludes the thought of the other. Since both theories are logically consistent, each has a compelling intellectual support base. However, both theories are flawed insofar as they make the economic reality an independent functioning entity isolated from the concepts of interdependence and broader individual and social entities. Each simplifies reality – one defines all reality in the individual while the other defines all reality in the society. The simplicity of the intellectual framework of both is the flaw which arises from using Occam′s Razor too freely in simplifying complexity. It is argued that a system that explicitly incorporates and recognises individual freedom and societal values is preferable to all other systems that are assumed to be “value free”. This could be one explanation for the emergence of the Islamic system in different corners of the world.
This paper seeks to address the recent challenges in the international human resource development (HRD) research and the related methodological strategy.
This inquiry is based on a survey of literatures and integrates various comparative research strategies adopted in other major social science disciplines.
Based on comparative strategies found in other disciplines, the authors propose a framework to advance comparative HRD research and theory development.
The proposed framework emphasizes methodological consistency in HRD research and improving the relevance and rigor in theory development. It also highlights the required qualities of comparative researchers.
This is an initial effort in analyzing the emerging comparative HRD literature for an alternative framework to advance methodological research on HRD theory building.
This paper argues that a new economic system is emerging in the world economy, that of the new traditional economy. Such an economic system simultaneously seeks to have…
This paper argues that a new economic system is emerging in the world economy, that of the new traditional economy. Such an economic system simultaneously seeks to have economic decision making embedded within a traditional socio‐cultural framework, most frequently one associated with a traditional religion, while at the same time seeking to use modern technology and to be integrated into the modern world economy to some degree. The efforts to achieve such a system are reviewed in various parts of the world, with greater analysis of the Islamic and neo‐Confucian economic systems.
– The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of Baumol’s work on entrepreneurship has had on framing the economic development puzzle.
The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of Baumol’s work on entrepreneurship has had on framing the economic development puzzle.
In many ways, the intuition behind the paper is straightforward. Entrepreneurs allocate their time and attention based on the relative payoffs they face in any given social setting. If the institutional environment rewards productive entrepreneurship, then the time and attention of entrepreneurial actors in the economy will be directed toward realizing the gains from trade and the gains from innovation. If, on the other hand, there are greater returns from the allocation of that time and attention toward rent-seeking and even criminal activity, alert individuals will respond to those incentives accordingly. The simplicity of the point being made is part of the brilliance in Baumol’s article. As with other classics in economics, once stated the proposition seems to be so basic it is amazing that others did not put it that way beforehand.
It has been 25 years since Baumol published his paper in the Journal of Political Economy, and as pointed out, it has had a significant scientific impact. But to put things in perspective, James Buchanan’s “An economic theory of clubs” published in 1965 has accumulated roughly 3,500 citations, F.A. Hayek’s “The use of knowledge in society,” published in 1945 has over 12,000, and Ronald Coase’s “The problem of social cost” published in 1960 has over 28,000 citations. So Baumol’s paper would put him in rather elite company. The great strength of the paper is to focus the attention on the relative payoffs of productive, unproductive and destructive entrepreneurial activity. But one of the most significant disappointments of the subsequent history of this paper is a methodological one. The comparative case study approach that Baumol employed did not result in a renewed appreciation for narrative forms of empirical research in political economy. It could legitimately be argued that the sort of questions about the fundamental institutional causes of economic growth and development can only be captured with these more historical methods. Attempts to force fit this analysis into a set of methodological tools which have already revealed themselves to be inadequate to do justice of the role of institutions and disregard the underlying cultural norms and beliefs that characterize human sociability.
In this paper, the authors will focus on the contribution made by Baumol’s 1990 paper on the field of comparative political economy, and in particular on the literature on transitional political economy. Section 2 places Baumol’s argument in the context of the failure of neoclassical growth theory. Section 3, the authors argue that although the Baumol framing was an improvement over the old comparative economic systems literature, contemporary transitional political economists have failed to fully realize the implications of the institutional revolution. They have therefore been unable to understand the causes of the heterogeneity of outcomes among those countries that transitioned from communism to the market economy in the 1990s. In Section 4, the authors argue that the political economy of transition will gain from a more sophisticated view of the economic process of the market economy, an appreciation of the entrepreneurial function, and a deeper understanding of the role of formal and informal institutions and their effect on entrepreneurship. The authors will illustrate the point with some examples from the recent history of the Russian political and economic transition. Credible commitment problems and the deficiencies of the institutional reforms of the early 1990s were responsible for the failure of reallocating the entrepreneurial talent that existed in the Soviet economy to productive economic activities. The framework can therefore be used to solve the puzzle of why the announced liberalization of Russian markets and privatization of previously state-owned resources led to economic stagnation, the growth of black markets, and the rise of organized crime, instead of economic development through the operations of smoothly operating markets. Section 5 briefly concludes.
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.