This paper is an initial attempt to discuss the American institutionalist movement as it changed and developed after 1945. Institutionalism in the inter-war period was a relatively coherent movement held together by a set of general methodological, theoretical, and ideological commitments (Rutherford, 2011). Although institutionalism always had its critics, it came under increased attack in the 1940s, and faced challenges from Keynesian economics, a revived neoclassicism, econometrics, and from new methodological approaches derived from various versions of positivism. The institutionalist response to these criticisms, and particularly the criticism that institutionalism “lacked theory,” is to be found in a variety of attempts to redefine institutionalism in new theoretical or methodological terms. Perhaps the most important of these is to be found in Clarence Ayres’ The Theory of Economic Progress (1944), although there were many others. These developments were accompanied by a significant amount of debate, disagreement, and uncertainty over future directions. Some of this is reflected in the early history of The Association for Evolutionary Economics.
The first Wisconsin Ph.D.s who came to MSU with an institutional bent were agricultural economists and included Henry Larzalere (Ph.D. 1938) whose major professor was…
The first Wisconsin Ph.D.s who came to MSU with an institutional bent were agricultural economists and included Henry Larzalere (Ph.D. 1938) whose major professor was Asher Hobson. Larzalere recalls the influence of Commons who retired in 1933. Upon graduation, Larzalere worked a short time for Wisconsin Governor Phillip Fox LaFollette who won passage of the nation’s first unemployment compensation act. Commons had earlier helped LaFollette’s father, Robert, to a number of institutional innovations.4 Larzalere continued the Commons’ tradition of contributing to the development of new institutions rather than being content to provide an efficiency apologia for existing private governance structures. He helped Michigan farmers form cooperatives. He taught land economics prior to Barlowe’s arrival in 1948, but primarily taught agricultural marketing. One of his Master’s degree students was Glenn Johnson (see below). Larzalere retired in 1977.
One important discussion comes under Knight’s heading of “Social Control.” To appreciate his argument, one has to understand that Knight’s social theory is developed…
One important discussion comes under Knight’s heading of “Social Control.” To appreciate his argument, one has to understand that Knight’s social theory is developed within a tension between: (1) his knowledge that social control is both inevitable and necessary; and (2) his correlative desire for individual autonomy. One could add to that a hatred of social control, some of which is relevant. But what Knight dislikes is, first, selective elements of existing social control and, second, change of social control, e.g. change of the law by law, except for those changes of the law that remove the selective elements he dislikes; Knight is not opposed to all change of social control. In any event, the problem of social control is also for Knight (as it was for Vilfredo Pareto) the problems of social change and of the status of the status quo as well as of hierarchy.
The two sets of notes, taken only three years apart are substantially similar in organization and content. We document differences identified in a line-by-line comparison…
The two sets of notes, taken only three years apart are substantially similar in organization and content. We document differences identified in a line-by-line comparison in Table 1. Generally, the 1996 course notes reproduced here more prominently feature the work of legal scholars, from Oliver Wendell Holmes to St. George Tucker. Curiously, many of these references were removed from the later version, as well as nearly all discussion on legal precedent established by Supreme Court cases. The overall effect of these changes is a marked shift away from a critical legal studies approach to the economic role of government and toward a more focused neoclassical lens.
Robert Franklin Hoxie was of the first generation of University of Chicago economists, a figure of significance in his own time. He is often heralded as the first of the…
Robert Franklin Hoxie was of the first generation of University of Chicago economists, a figure of significance in his own time. He is often heralded as the first of the Institutional economists and the impetus behind the field of labor economics. Yet today, his contributions appear as mere footnotes in the history of economic thought, when mentioned at all, despite the fact that in his professional and popular writings he tackled some of the most pressing problems of the day. The topics upon which he focused included bimetallism, price theory, methodology, the economics profession, socialism, syndicalism, scientific management, and trade unionism, the last being the field with which he is most closely associated. His work attracted the notice of some of the most famous economists of his time, including Frank Fetter, J. Laurence Laughlin, Thorstein Veblen, and John R. Commons. For all the promise, his suicide at the age of 48 ended what could have been a storied career. This paper is an attempt to resurrect Hoxie through a review of his life and work, placing him within the social and intellectual milieux of his time.
A conference on the history of heterodox economics in the twentieth century was held during October 3–5, 2002 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The conference…
A conference on the history of heterodox economics in the twentieth century was held during October 3–5, 2002 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The conference organizers were Frederic S. Lee and John King. Several papers presented at the conference are published below, several in significantly revised and/or expanded form, together with one paper distributed at but not formally presented at the conference. Malcolm Rutherford’s paper, “On the Economic Frontier: Walton Hamilton, Institutional Economics, and Education,” will be published in History of Political Economy. All of the papers published here have been reviewed.
To the extent that management accounting is based on neo‐classical economics, all decision‐making is assumed to be rational, aimed at utility or profit maximisation and…
To the extent that management accounting is based on neo‐classical economics, all decision‐making is assumed to be rational, aimed at utility or profit maximisation and all circumstances influencing decisions are accepted as stationary. The approach excludes all social, cultural or historical considerations and is based on perfect information that is freely available. Neo‐classical economics further assumes that minimum government intervention, which is regulated by competition, will result in maximum benefit for society as a whole. This paper aims to determine the extent to which management accounting theory has been based on these limiting assumptions and finds that emerging management accounting theory is increasingly based on alternative, more liberating foundations. This situation is in contrast to management accounting education in South Africa, which remains almost entirely based on neo‐classical economics.