Political Economy

Richard Cantillon is one of the key figures in the early history of economics. He was certainly not the first to think about economic problems, but he was the first to have clear insight into the way the economy functions as a system. He was arguably the first to structure a theory of how the economy works. In this sense he could be called the first real economist. Today, his ideas on population, determination of prices, wages and interest, the role of the entrepreneur, banking, and the influence of money supply on the economy are increasingly quoted and appreciated. This is a translation of the ?ssai sur la nature du commerce en general his only surviving work. It was circulated in manuscript form for many years after his death and was extremely influential, albeit not well known, at least throughout the eighteenth century. Essays on the Nature of Commerce in General shaped the development of economics through its formative influence on Franþois Quesnay and Adam Smith. It is a cornerstone upon which all subsequent economic theory has been built. Transaction is proud to breathe new life into this classic work as part of its distinguished series in economic theory and history. In his new introduction, Anthony Brewer showcases Cantillon, the prophetic thinker, for a new generation of readers. This volume's broad-based appeal and great cultural import can no longer afford to be overlooked. Students of economic theory, intellectual historians, and sociologists will find this volume indispensable. Richard Cantillon (1680û1734). Little is known about Cantillon except that he was Irish and turned briefly from a successful banking career, mainly in France, to write one of the most outstanding works in the history of the subject, L'?ssai. Anthony A. Brewer is professor of the history of economics at the University of Bristol. He is on the editorial advisory board of the scholarly journal, History of Political Economy, and has held visiting posts at Duke University and Chou University (Tokyo). He is the author of Richard Cantillon: Pioneer of Economic Theory, Marxist Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey, and A Guide to Marx's Capital.
What are the most fundamental differences among the political economies of the developed world? How do national institutional differences condition economic performance, public policy, and social well-being? Will they survive the pressures for convergence generated by globalization and technological change? These have long been central questions in comparative political economy. This book provides a new and coherent set of answers to them. Building on the new economics of organization, the authors develop an important new theory about which differences among national political economies are most significant for economic policy and performance. Drawing on a distinction between 'liberal' and 'coordinated' market economies, they argue that there is more than one path to economic success. Nations need not converge to a single Anglo-American model. They develop a new theory of 'comparative institutionaladvantage' that transforms our understanding of international trade, offers new explanations for the response of firms and nations to the challenges of globalization, and provides a new theory of national interest to explain the conduct of nations in international relations. The analysis brings the firm back into the centre of comparative political economy. It provides new perspectives on economic and social policy-making that illuminate the role of business in the development of the welfare state and the dilemmas facing those who make economic policy in the contemporary world. Emphasizing the 'institutional complementarities' that link labour relations, corporate finance, and national legal systems, the authors bring interdisciplinary perspectives to bear on issues of strategic management, economic performance, and institutional change. This pathbreaking work sets new agendas in the study of comparative political economy. As such, it will be of value to academics and graduate students in economics, business, and political science, as well as to many others with interests in international relations, social policy-making, and the law.
As 21st-century political debate becomes polarized across ideological lines, students and citizens need to understand the underlying values on which contending arguments are based. The current political gridlock calls for a deeper appreciation of the competing perspectives in political economy. Now revamped for a third edition, Political Economy: A Comparative Approach supplies a truly interdisciplinary examination of the development and evolution of political economy from the Enlightenment onward, drawing material from the realms of political theory, sociology, philosophy, and history as well as from economics to present detailed comparisons of competing perspectives on a variety of current issues.

The book begins with an introduction to political economy that provides readers with an overview of the historical development of the discipline, followed by in-depth analyses of four ideological perspectives in political economy—Classical Liberalism, Radicalism, Conservatism, and Modern Liberalism. The author then applies each of the four ideological perspectives to a range of contemporary issues, such as the role of government, economic instability, poverty, labor relations, discrimination, education, culture, the environment, and international trade. Readers will gain insight into the methods and practice of political economics as well as better understand the history of political/economic thought and the effects of historical processes—European industrialization, for example—on modern debates.

The two great financial crises of the past century are the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession, which began in 2008. Both occurred against the backdrop of sharp credit booms, dubious banking practices, and a fragile and unstable global financial system. When markets went into cardiac arrest in 2008, policymakers invoked the lessons of the Great Depression in attempting to avert the worst. While their response prevented a financial collapse and catastrophic depression like that of the 1930s, unemployment in the U.S. and Europe still rose to excruciating high levels. Pain and suffering were widespread. The question, given this, is why didn't policymakers do better? Hall of Mirrors, Barry Eichengreen's monumental twinned history of the two crises, provides the farthest-reaching answer to this question to date. Alternating back and forth between the two crises and between North America and Europe, Eichengreen shows how fear of another Depression following the collapse of Lehman Brothers shaped policy responses on both continents, with both positive and negative results. Since bank failures were a prominent feature of the Great Depression, policymakers moved quickly to strengthen troubled banks. But because derivatives markets were not important in the 1930s, they missed problems in the so-called shadow banking system. Having done too little to support spending in the 1930s, governments also ramped up public spending this time around. But the response was indiscriminate and quickly came back to haunt overly indebted governments, particularly in Southern Europe. Moreover, because politicians overpromised, and because their measures failed to stave off a major recession, a backlash quickly developed against activist governments and central banks. Policymakers then prematurely succumbed to the temptation to return to normal policies before normal conditions had returned. The result has been a grindingly slow recovery in the United States and endless recession in Europe. Hall of Mirrors is both a major work of economic history and an essential exploration of how we avoided making only some of the same mistakes twice. It shows not just how the "lessons" of Great Depression history continue to shape society's response to contemporary economic problems, but also how the experience of the Great Recession will permanently change how we think about the Great Depression.
‘This book is different from most other attempts to understand the politics of Indian economic development. Breaking down the last 65+ years of Indian development into several episodes of growth, it provides a rich set of insights into the political economy of the Indian development process and is a valuable addition to the literature.’ –Pranab Bardham, University of California, Berkeley, USA

‘Sustained economic growth in the world's largest democracy is critically important to human well-being, but the ups and downs of growth in India are not well-understood. This book provides a fresh and insightful approach to understanding what drives the starts of booms and the onset of slowdowns.’ –Lant Pritchett, Harvard University, USA

‘This is a little book with big arguments. The authors' explanation of the changing character of the deals done between political and business elites makes for the most original contribution to studies of the political economy of Indian development since Pranab Bardhan's seminal work of the early 1980s’ –John Harriss, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

This book moves beyond the usual economic analysis of the Indian growth story and provides a fresh perspective on the determinants of growth episodes in post-independence India, based on its political economy. Using a robust and novel technique, the authors identify four such episodes during this period. The first, running from the 1950s to 1992, was mostly characterized by economic stagnation, with a nascent recovery in the eighties. The second, covering the period 1993 to 2001, witnessed the first growth acceleration in the economy. A second acceleration ran from 2002 to 2010. The fourth and final episode started with the slowdown in 2010 and continues to this day. The book provides a theoretical framework that focuses on rent-structures, institutions and the polity, and demonstrates how changes in these can explain the four growth episodes. Kar and Sen argue that the transitions from one growth episode to another can be explained by the bi-directional relationship between growth outcomes and institutional arrangements, and by the manner in which institutional arrangements and their transitions are determined by the political bargains struck between the elite groups in Indian society.

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