The History of Economic Thought
Online ISSN : 1884-7358
Print ISSN : 1880-3164
ISSN-L : 1880-3164
Volume 47 , Issue 2
Showing 1-23 articles out of 23 articles from the selected issue
  • Claus Thomasberger
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 1-14
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Karl Polanyi's most famous book, The Great Transformation contains several ideas and theoretical notions which are at the heart of long-lasting controversies throughout the social sciences. Categories such as ‘double movement, ’ ‘embeddedness, ’ ‘disembedding, ’ ‘market society, ’ or ‘social freedom’ have proved to be fruitful notions not only in anthropology, but also in sociology, political sciences, and economic history. The recent three volume publication of Karl Polanyi's writings during the interwar period—including published articles and unpublished manuscripts—opens for the first time the possibility to have a closer look at the origins and the development of some of Polanyi's concepts during the interwar period. In the paper titled “Human Freedom and the ‘Reality of Society’—Origins and Development of Karl Polanyi's Ideas during the Interwar Period, ” Claus Thomasberger addresses Polanyi's idea of a polar relationship between human freedom and the ‘reality of society.’ The paper offers new insights, discussing central questions which are crucial to the understanding of Polanyi's reasoning: Where are the roots of his central categories? What influence did Marx have on Polanyi's thinking? What is the relationship between Polanyi's approach and the Austrian School of Economics? Is it appropriate to read his work in terms of an institutional approach? In order to give an answer to these questions, the paper goes back not only to the 1930s, but to the 1920s as well. As it demonstrates, Polanyi had already developed the core ideas of his thinking in Vienna, participating actively in the discussions between the Austrian School of Economics and Austro-Marxism about the possibilities of a socialist society.
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  • Sandra J. Peart, David M. Levy
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 15-31
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    Using the debates between Classical political economists and their critics as our lens, this paper examines the question of whether we're the same or different. Starting with Adam Smith, Classical economics presumed that humans are the same in their capacity for language and trade; observed differences were then explained by incentives, luck and history, and it is the “vanity of the philosopher” incorrectly to conclude otherwise. Such “analytical egalitarianism” was overthrown sometime after 1850, when notions of race and hierarchy came to infect social analysis as a result of attacks on homogeneity by the Victorian Sages (including Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin), in anthropology and biology (James Hunt and Charles Darwin), and among political economists themselves (W. R. Greg). Two questions were at issue. Do everyone's preferences count equally, and is everyone equally capable of making economic decisions? In Smith's account, philosophers and subjects alike are capable of making decisions. The oppositional view held that some are different from others. Since “difference” implied “superiority” in the period we study, we call this doctrine “analytical hierarchicalism.”
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  • Tetsuo Taka
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 32-44
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    Since his first, harsh attack on the pre-Darwinian assumptions of mainstream economics, Thorstein B. Veblen has been known as a founding advocate of a Darwinian evolutionary science of economics. Nonetheless, there is still little consensus even among Veblen scholars regarding either his methods of evolutionary science or his theory of evolution. This paper shows Veblen's evolutionary methods to be close to modern biological methodology, as in K. Lorenz's ethology and E. Myer's evolutionary synthesis. The accumulative process of evolution can be interpreted as a complicated interaction between instinct and purposeful emulation. The former is necessary for the preservation and prosperity of the species, and the latter is useful in maintaining stability in social order. I also examine the multilayered structure of Veblen's concept of human nature—old norms do not die out and may be revived—, his idea that cultural evolution accompanies reversions, and the ways in which his evolutionary economics is a composite science made up of economic anthropology and a biological theory of evolution.
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  • Hiroyuki Shimodaira
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 45-56
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    A Consideration of Dennis Robertson's ideas and his work, The Control of Industry (1923), this paper begins with a review of the historical background. It then examines Robertson's views on industrialized society, including his assessment of the alternative strategies—democracy of consumers, workers' control, and the joint control of industry—posed as solutions to social problems created by industrialization. I then go into Robertson's contributions in The Control of Industry. First, using the “Capitalism's Golden Rule” (association of control with risk), he points out that profits are obtained by assuming a risk, and he puts forth the alternative strategy of the control of industry based on this principle. Second, I make the case that he advocated joint control of industry partly because he believed it was instrumental in allowing workers to fulfill their human potential and also because it was an effective way to mitigate industrial fluctuations. Third, I argue that Robertson inherited the dynamic characteristic of Marshall's industrial economics and that his industry-level analysis corresponds to the macro-level theory of industrial fluctuation.
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  • Hiroko Aoki
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 57-74
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    In the milieu of the Scottish Enlightenment that celebrated modern civilized society and its outcomes, Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) propounded confident views on its merits, but at the same time he was apprehensive about the consequences of increasing specialization, depersonalization of social relations, and acceptance of hedonism as a social force. In order to account for the multiple elements implicit in his thought as a whole and in his conception of “civil society, ” this paper reexamines Ferguson's historiography, perception of the history of humankind, and his characterization of stages in human history from savage to ancient civilized society. It attempts to indicate the complexity of his thought through a close examination of his use of the term civilized.
    Assuming that the different views on modern civilized society of Scottish Enlightenment thinkers were influenced by their evaluations—positive or negative—of precommercial society, this paper seeks to explain the significance of Ferguson's stress on the “rude” state of human societies early in their evolution. Because Ferguson considered natural human strengths—the “virtues of rude men”—to have been important throughout the history of humankind, it is difficult to analyze his views simply in terms of the dichotomy of rudeness and civilization. Drawing on Pocock's identification of Ferguson's “public spirit” not with “political participation” but rather with the human nature of “active man, ” this paper argues that Ferguson's unique perception of history can add significantly to our understanding of the way “civilization” and “civil society” have been understood in the past.
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  • Yasunori Fukagai
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 75-91
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    During the famine of 1795, Samuel Whit bread proposed a bill which would have enabled the justice of the peace to set a minimum wage for labourers in husbandry. In February 1796, William Pitt criticised the bill and forced its rejection. Although both of them referred to estimation by Richard Price, who had identified a decline in real wages over the century, their perceptions of the conditions of husbandry were opposite. Whitbread regarded the wage level of husbandry labourers to be permanently relegated to less than necessary for even minimal comfort, and he proposed the bill above to secure the means of adequate support for those people. Pitt argued that wages should rely upon the market mechanism and criticised Whitbread's bill as an encouragement of idleness among the poor. Pitt's only proposal was to amend the poor laws in order to promote mutual support, in the mode of friendly society.
    In 1781, John Howlett examined Price's claims regarding the decrease of population since the Glorious Revolution. Adopting the same method of political arithmetic as Price's, his results showed an increase of population in the same period. In 1796, he published a pamphlet attacking Pitt. Howlett interpreted Whitbread's bill as a means to dissolve the union of employers, which would have resulted in the same circumstances experienced by employees whose union was prohibited by an act of 1768. In opposition to Pitt, who believed in relying on the market mechanism, Howlett promoted the symmetric structure of the labor market by the method of legislation.
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  • Masanobu Sato
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 92-107
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    Business ethics became a burning issue among business leaders and academicians in the United States in the 1920s. The era saw a plethora of publications focusing on codes of ethics formulated and enacted by business, industrial, and trade organizations. This paper considers the rise of interest in business ethics and the activities it provoked from the perspective of the history of economic thought.
    First, I discuss codes of ethics established by the trade associations for a number of industries and examine the public response to them at the time. I then discuss how and why the ‘social responsibility of business’ emerged as an important issue in the early 20th century, treating Owen Young, a business leader, and Wallace B. Donham, a dean of the Harvard Business School. Finally, I examine the ideas of Edgar L. Heermance, John Maurice Clark, who were authors of important works on business ethics. Heermance, for example, recognized that codes of ethics in business reflected the interests of the commercial organization, but, he argued, they were significant in establishing the standards of human conduct that 20th-century economic life required. Similarly, Clark regarded the codes as an “informal control” that was important in maintaining stability in business activities. He also criticized the codes for being too narrowly focused on obligation; he argued for the inclusion of “some pre-existing sense of duties.”
    Those most heavily involved in business ethics in the 1920s recognized that the codes of ethics were based primarily on the interests of trade and industry. Yet they also understood that the codes offered a way to respond to challenges posed by the major themes in economic thought at the time: to make businessmen aware of their responsibility to the public and to act as agents of social control of business.
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  • Masahiro Kawamata
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 108-124
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    This paper shows how ordinalism finished its mission in the history of 20th century microeconomics. Ordinalism was put forward by Vilfredo Pareto in the framework of Walrasian general equilibrium theory. Lionel Robbins justified ordinalism on the basis of Weber's methodology of social sciences, which emphasized the significance of distinguishing positive analysis from normative analysis. As the general equilibrium theory formed a mainstream Scientific Research Program (SRP), ordinalism became dominant because it showed sufficient conditions of preference ordering for the existence, stability, and uniqueness of general equilibrium in a competitive market. Economists who adopted ordinalism established new welfare economics based on the Bergsonian social welfare function. However, ordinalists could not produce useful theorems in the fields of applied economics and economic policy. Arrow proved General Impossibility theorem to show that such a social welfare function does not exist in general. Although a number of economic theorists attempted to solve Arrow's paradox, they did not succeed, and eventually realized that the program of new welfare economics was not operational. Since 1980s, game theory has become a mainstream SRP. It has been used in several fields of applied economics, and has produced useful results in these fields. Game theorists assume a utility function to be cardinal, independent of affine transformation. In fact, a cardinal utility function is necessary to analyze a strategic behavior of players and prove the existence of equilibrium in a non-cooperative game.
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  • Tetsuya Yanagisawa
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 125-138
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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    The purpose of this review is to examine some recent studies that shed new light on the relation between Christianity and political economy in Britain in the first half of the 19th century. It has been thought that the influence of Christianity on social theory at that time was giving way before the growing appeal of philosophic radicalism and other secular ideas, but recent historiographies emphasize the ideological alliance of political economy and Christian theology, or Christian political economy (CPE). In A. M. C. Waterman's view, in the early 19th century CPE was the mainstream of Anglo-Scottish social theory, and philosophic radicalism was peripheral. B. Hilton argues that CPE was brought into the world of public policy chiefly through Liberal Tories and had an important influence on trade and financial policy and poor law amendment.
    From this perspective, Malthus was the first Christian political economist. Malthus's demographic ideas were absorbed into both secular political economy and CPE and were modified to conform to Paleyan natural theology, in part by Paley himself, and by J. B. Sumner. Noetics largely accepted Sumner's version of Malthusian population theory, upon which, P. Mandler argues, political economy was introduced into Oxford. Oxford economists attempted to prove that with deductive reasoning political economy did not undermine divine benevolence and wealth and virtue were not incompatible.
    Hilton emphasizes the role in ideology and public policy of evangelical political economy, especially in T. Chalmers's thought. Seeing Malthusian population theory as revealing a providential moral discipline at work in the economic order, Chalmers was a doctrinaire adherent of laissez-faire individualism who believed that economic policies such as protectionism would obstruct the operation of the ‘natural system.’
    D. Winch regards W. Whewell and R. Jones as CPE thinkers. They objected not only to Ricardian economics but also to Noetics's CPE, which they saw as having lost its moral dimension in economic activity. For Winch, it was the moral dimension of political economy that brought Whewell and Jones close to Malthus: the ethical school of political economy.
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 139-140
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 141-142
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 145-147
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 148-149
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 150-151
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 152-153
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 154-155
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 156-158
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 159-161
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 162-164
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 165-166
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 167-169
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 170-171
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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  • [in Japanese]
    2005 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 172-173
    Published: December 24, 2005
    Released: August 05, 2010
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