Peace, war and international security is an area in which economists are often conspicuous by their absence, to a degree that rivals the importance of economic issues to the problems at hand. It is getting to the point where the supposed ‘imperialism’ of economics in the social science (Fine, 2001) is reversed and the political scientists, international relations and other such groups exclude the economists and take on the economics themselves. It is not unusual to find studies of post-conflict reconstruction in which economics is surprisingly found to be important. In the case of the World Bank, it came as a great shock to the other social scientists when economists started to argue that economics might have a major role to play in understanding civil wars (Collier et al., 2003). Economists do have the gift of overstatement and a tendency to state unpleasant truths in a clear and precise way that can disturb other social scientists, whose indignation and overreaction reflected this. More recently the debate has reached a more civilised recognition of the complexity of such issues (Arnson & Zartman, 2005; Berdal & Malone, 2000).
The similarities among the writings of Ralph Hawtrey, Lauchlin Currie and Milton Friedman are re‐affirmed, as is the influence of the former on what Friedman has called “the Chicago tradition” of the 1930s. The underconsumptionist analysis of Paul Douglas is not integral to that tradition.
The recent recession has seen something of a resurgence in the debate over military Keynesianism. Recent commentators, who should know better, have claimed that it would make sense to stimulate the U.S. economy through increases in military spending, as though this has not been a commonly contested view over the last 40 years. A large, literature has debated the economic effects of military spending, and while it has reached no consensus, there is also little support for any belief that military spending is a good way of stimulating the economy. This paper makes a contribution to the debate by assessing the theoretical perspectives and the empirical approaches used. It then undertakes an analysis of the United States using a number of approaches, and the results suggest that the simple military Keynesian arguments still lack empirical support.
This introduction to the essays that follow argues that the chief problem with the dominant understanding of world affairs in the disciplines of International Relations…
This introduction to the essays that follow argues that the chief problem with the dominant understanding of world affairs in the disciplines of International Relations and International Political Economy, including their Marxist versions, is an a historical, non-contradictory and economically cosmopolitan conception of capitalism. In their place, geopolitical economy is a new approach which returns to the conception of capitalism embodied in the culmination of classical political economy, Marxism. It was historical in two senses, distinguishing capitalism as a historically specific mode of social production involving by value production and understanding that its contradictions drive forward capitalism’s own history in a central way. This approach must further develop and specify uneven and combined development as the dominant pattern in the unfolding of capitalist international relations, one that is constitutive of its component states themselves. Secondly, it must understand the logic of the actions undertaken by capitalist states as emerging from the struggles involved in the formation of capitalist states and from the contradictions that are set in train once capitalism is established. Finally, it must see in the ways that class and national struggles and resulting state actions have modified the functioning of capitalism the possibilities of replacing the disorder, contestation and war that are the spontaneous result of capitalism for international relations the basis for a cooperative order in relations between states, an order which can also be the means for realising the permanent revolution and solidifying its gains on the international or world plane.
Responds to George Tavlas’ comments in “More on the Chicago tradition”, in this issue, and once again assesses the contribution of individuals to “the Chicago tradition” of the 1930s.
When the policy maker contemplates the current aggregate demand (AD), she/he does so given implicitly the current state of income inequality. And, policy goals should be…
When the policy maker contemplates the current aggregate demand (AD), she/he does so given implicitly the current state of income inequality. And, policy goals should be set based on the distance between this demand and some “optimal” AD from the viewpoint of optimal income inequality. The purpose of this paper is to relate this policy concern to the sources of modern inequality.
To characterize optimality, recent research in inequality reveals that paternalistic inheritance is the decisive source of it. Inequality is the outcome of an intergenerational externality according to which the current entrepreneurs (physical-capital formation agents) bequeath to descendants who use the inheritance as rentiers rather than as entrepreneurs. Several policy measures have been proposed to correct for this externality. Yet, it is found that if the “dynastic” character of inequality is disregarded, the distance between actual and optimal AD will be ever increasing.
Policy should be addressing the motive of the descendants to act as rentiers, which is found to be easy to attain once the policy maker adopts a natural-resource view of sizeable inheritance and proceeds to reassign property rights over it across generations.
Optimality is identified with the Cantorian (total) ordering of the social economy, which is inhibited by the institution of dynastic property rights. One way to deal with this problem is to view inheritance as a depletable natural resource.
This paper builds homogenous series of the rate of surplus value (RSV) for the Chinese economy over the extended period 1956–2014 with a Marxian approach. It finds that…
This paper builds homogenous series of the rate of surplus value (RSV) for the Chinese economy over the extended period 1956–2014 with a Marxian approach. It finds that the high profitability that stimulated capital accumulation in the decade before the 2008 crisis had relied on the continuous growth in the RSV. Given that the global crisis and changes in the domestic economy undermine all the conditions maintaining the accumulation model (an expanding external market, a relatively large reserve army of labor, and a low debt-income ratio), the RSV has failed to increase and profitability declined since 2008. Thus, this paper interprets the so-called new normal of the Chinese economy as a stage of declining profitability that results mainly from the stagnant RSV and the rising value composition of capital.
This paper considers the influence of Eugen Dühring’s 1876 model of economic communes on the development of a peculiar non‐Marxian stream of market socialist models…
This paper considers the influence of Eugen Dühring’s 1876 model of economic communes on the development of a peculiar non‐Marxian stream of market socialist models, characterized by the fact that the self‐managed production units are open. In the 1934 Breit and Lange model of market socialism, the organization of the economy is thought to be in the form of large self‐management trusts, whose market power is limited by openness. Very similar features can also be found in Franz Oppenheimer’s previous model of industrial cooperatives. Herztka’s Freeland model of settlement cooperatives represents another development of Dühring’s original blueprint. Through Oppenheimer, Dühring’s ideas paradoxically exerted an intellectual influence on the initial institutional form of Jewish settlements in Palestine. Otherwise Dühring’s model of economic communes shows remarkable similitude with Mao’s organization of the Chinese economy, pointing to a possible influence through the extensive quotes in Engels’ AntiDühring.
Analyses the economics of socialism within the Marxian tradition.The ideas of Marx and Engels are included, as are those of the theoristsof the Second International. The…
Analyses the economics of socialism within the Marxian tradition. The ideas of Marx and Engels are included, as are those of the theorists of the Second International. The debate on market socialism associated with Oskar Lange also receives attention. The evolution of Mises′s and Hayek′s responses is traced, and there is an outline of how economists in Eastern Europe have come to similar conclusions to these Austrians. Concludes with an assessment of the economics of socialism in the work of contemporary theorists.