The Penguin History of Economics

The Penguin History of Economics

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0140260420

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A very clear, reliable and readable history of economic thought from the ancient world to the present day. From Homer to Marx to John Stuart Mill, Backhouse shows how to keep your Keynsians from your post-Keynsians and New Keynsians. This is a core book.

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The Power of a Single Number: A Political History of GDP












interest. To explain this, Keynes introduced the idea that money is required not only to finance transactions in goods and services but also as a store of value. People may hold money because they are uncertain about the future and wish to be able to postpone their spending decisions, or because they expect holding money to yield a better return than investing in financial assets. (If the price of bonds or shares falls, the return may be negative – less than the return from holding money.) This

is valuable because it reduces costs for other industries, enabling them to produce more of the goods that consumers require. Without money prices, it would be impossible to calculate whether or not it should be built. In a static economy, where nothing changed, rational calculation might be possible. A socialist state could continue the pattern of production that prevailed under a previous competitive system. However, the world is not static. Tastes and technology are forever changing, with the

were also employed in international organizations. There was a precedent for this in that the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO) had both employed economists. The League of Nations had sponsored economic research by Haberler and Tinbergen on the business cycle. After 1945, however, the number of such organizations increased dramatically, and with it the employment of economists. In addition to the ILO (established before the war) there were the United Nations, which

necessity. This fitted in with the Keynesian perspective in two ways. The first was that different types of theory were seen as being needed for different problems. Just as macroeconomics was needed as a subject distinct from microeconomics in order to tackle problems of unemployment, so development economics was needed to deal with problems specific to underdeveloped countries. The second was that it was believed that markets could not be left alone – that government intervention was necessary

This is far from the aristocratic disparagement of work and support for martial virtues that can be found in Homer, but the two poets share the idea that security is bound up with land. Hesiod's poetry provides a good illustration of the earliest writings on economic questions. Economic insights are there, but nothing is developed very far and it is difficult to know how much significance to attach to them. Estate Management – Xenophon's Oikonomikos The period from the seventh to the fourth

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