1. Introduction and Motivation

The deeply and fundamentally flawed nature of modern economic theory arises from two problems. The root cause is a fundamental misconception about the nature of methodology. The secondary cause is major mistakes in the application of this wrong methodology. The second flaw can be fixed by replacing the axioms and the methods of analysis while working within the same wrong methodological framework. Heterodox economists have been content to work in this way. This does create useful alternatives, since even a fundamentally flawed methodological framework can lead to useful truths if applied skillfully. However, failure to understand and remedy the root cause leads to serious weaknesses in the alternatives offered, which is one of the reasons why heterodoxy has been unable to create a successful alternative paradigm.

In a series of posts, I would like to explain the fundamental methodological flaw, so as to clear the path to building a genuine alternative to modern economic theory. The first step is to understand why the entire project of “Social Science” is misconceived. The term Social Science embodies the idea that we can fruitfully apply scientific methodology to the study of human beings and society. This is a fundamental methodological mistake. I have made this point in several papers, but unfortunately, they are all quite complex, reflecting my own rather long and tortuous intellectual journey in arriving at this insight. Now I think I can provide a fairly simple and straightforward explanation, in a sequence of steps. The first step is to understand the nature of science and scientific methodology.

  1. What is Scientific Methodology?

The standard current understanding of scientific methodology is based on positivist ideas, and is deeply mistaken. Even after the collapse of positivism, this understanding has not been revised. The best route to a correct understanding is to look at the historical origins of the scientific method. The first science to develop among the Greeks was Euclidean geometry, with its axiomatic method. It was natural that when the Greeks turned to study of nature, they would attempt to apply this same successful methodology to develop the natural sciences. This was done, but proved to be highly unsuccessful. Let us understand how the axiomatic method would work in the context of natural sciences.

We would start with axioms which were dead certain, and then use logical deduction to build on these solid foundations. Unfortunately, no dead certainties of an axiomatic type can be found for the natural sciences. Many such foundations were proposed, and logic was used to build superstructures upon them, but all such approaches proved to be wrong. Nature is amazingly complex, and our intuitions frequently lead us astray. Just think of all the quantum phenomena for a simple illustration. That the Earth is the center of the universe was patently obvious to all, and used as a central axiom.  Aristotle used logic to conclude that heavy stones would fall faster than light ones. Two different schools of thought used logic to prove the opposite contentions about vision. One set of axioms led to the conclusion that light emanating from the eyes hits objects, while the other set of axioms led to reverse conclusion that light emanating from the object hits our eyes. The conflict could not be resolved on logical grounds for a thousand years.

Why did Aristotle not pick up two stones and drop them from a steep cliff to assess the validity of his theory? It is very important to understand the answer to this question, since Aristotle was one of the smartest men on the planet. His writings are still studied at universities after thousands of years. To answer this question, consider a parallel question. All of us have studies the Pythagorean theorem. Did anyone draw a triangle to assess whether or not it is true? Once something is logically proven, empirical confirmation is not required. Indeed, if we draw a triangle, and it violates the Pythagorean theorem, we would correctly attribute it to mistakes in measurement, drawing or other unknown causes. We would not start to doubt the Pythagorean theorem, even if we could not figure out why our drawn triangle fails to satisfy the theorem. To those who did not understand the proof which convinced us, our acts would appear like an act of faith – a firm belief which cannot be dis-lodged even by witnessing contradictory empirical evidence.  The axiomatic-deductive methodology of Euclidean Geometry leads to certainty. Empirical observations cannot either confirm or disconfirm logical truths.

In an era where science dominates the scene, it is difficult for us to understand the pre-scientific mindset. It seems obvious and natural that we should use experiments and observation to settle scientific questions. So it is important to begin by understanding that the original Greek idea that appropriate scientific methodology should be axiomatic/deductive like geometry, is based on a perfectly sound and coherent logic, which is internally consistent, and provides a reasonable framework for viewing the world we live in. It just didn’t happen to work out, but this does not mean that their logic was wrong.  [Just as the collapse of Russia does not mean that Marxist theories are wrong].

The deep and fundamental problems with the idea of using observations and experiments to build science are almost obvious, and retain their validity today. Suppose that I deduce a scientific law after making a sequence of observations all of which fall into the same pattern – how can I be sure that this law will retain its validity tomorrow? The inherent uncertainty of the scientific method is famously illustrated by the Black Swan. Even though all observed swans in Europe are white, black swans were discovered later in Australia. Large numbers of conjectured scientific laws were later proven false by observations. There are no cases on the record of a mathematical law which was shown to be observationally wrong. Even after a century of experience with regression models to find empirical regularities, we routinely obtain wrong results. For example, in the case of export led-growth, we can find published papers which use regression to prove all of the four possible results. Exports cause growth, growth causes exports, there is bidirectional causality, and there is no causal relation between the two.

Just as a discovered empirical pattern need not persist, so a discovered contradiction may not actually contradict. For example, if Aristotle dropped two stones from a mountaintop, and a chance strong wind created differential speeds of falling, or the shape of the stones created different types of air resistance, the observational failure would not reflect on the logical proof. Just as we would not bother to check the calculations of someone who claimed to find a counterexample to Fermats Last Theorem, so empirical reports of a failure of a physical law which could be proven by an axiomatic deductive methodology would not be relevant evidence.

CONCLUSION: The axiomatic-deductive method leads to certainties. The observational-experimental methods of science do not. This is why the Greeks preferred the former to the latter, and correctly did not trust the latter. This is why the development of the scientific method was delayed for a thousand years. The success of the method is rather surprising given that certainty is not achieved at any point in the chain of reasoning. We are always working with guesses about what might be the causes of observed patterns, and even the observed patterns are guesses.

Subsequent steps in understanding why scientific methodology cannot be used to study humans and societies will be posted later.

PS (added in response to a comment): The first step taken here is to describe the pre-scientific methodology of the Greeks, and explain its virtues, and why these virtues created an obstacle to the emergence of the scientific method. What the scientific method is, and how it emerged, will be described in the next post.

PPS: For posts on a diverse range of topics, see my LinkedIn Author Page

Many leading economists have come to agree with Nobel Laureate Stiglitz that modern economic theory represents the triumph of ideology over science. One of the core victories of ideology is the famous Quantity Theory of Money (QTM). The QTM teaches us that money is veil – it only affects prices, and has no real effect on the economy. One must look through this veil to understand the working of the real economy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the QmoneymoneyTM itself is a veil which hides the real and important functions of money in an economy. The Great Depression of 1929 opened the eyes of everyone to the crucial role money plays in the real economy. For a brief period afterwards, Keynesian theories emerged to illuminate real role of money, and to counteract errors of orthodox economics. Economists believed in the QTM, that money doesn’t matter, and also that the free market automatically eliminates unemployment. Keynes started his celebrated book “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” by asserting that both of these orthodox ideas were wrong. He explained why free markets cannot remove unemployment, and also how money plays a crucial role in creating full employment. He argued that in response to the Depression, the government should expand the money supply, create programs for employment, undertake expansionary fiscal policy, and run large budget deficits if necessary.

Free market economists believe that markets work best when left alone, and any type of government intervention to help the economy can only have harmful effects. Even after the Great Depression, they continued to argue that the government intervention would only cause further harm, and the free market would automatically resolve the problems. However, it was obvious to all that the massive amount of misery called for urgent action. QTM was discredited and mainstream economists accepted Keynesian ideas, rejecting free market ideologies. US President  Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) started his campaign with orthodox promises to balance the budget but converted to Keynesianism when faced with the severe hardships imposed by the Great Depression. He later said that “to balance our budget in 1933 or 1934 or 1935 would have been a crime against the American people.” In the 1960’s, the aphorism that “We are all Keynesians now” became widely accepted.

Free market ideologues like Friedman and Hayek patiently bided their time, while preparing the grounds for a counter-attack. Their opportunity came when stagflation – high unemployment together with high inflation – occurred in the 1970’s as a result of the Arab oil embargo. They skillfully manipulated public opinion to create the impression that economic problems were due to Keynesian economic theories, and could be resolved by switching to free market policies. The rising influence of free market ideology was reflected in the election of Reagan and Thatcher, who rejected Keynesian doctrines. Milton Friedman re-packaged old wine in new bottles, and the QTM went from being a discredited eccentric view to the dominant orthodoxy. Throughout the world, including Pakistan, monetary policy had been based on the Keynesian idea the money supply should be large enough to create full employment, but not so large as to create inflation. However, monetarists succeeded in persuading many academics and policy makers of the pre-Keynesian ideas that money only affects prices, and has no long run effects on the real economy.  Central Bankers were persuaded to abandon the Keynesian idea of using expansionary monetary policy to fight unemployment. Instead, they started to focus on inflation targets. Forgetting the hard learned lessons of the Great Depression led to The Global Financial Crisis. Excess money creation for speculation led to a boom in housing and stock markets, followed by a crash very much like that of the Great Depression. Chastened Central Bankers remembered Keynes and took some actions necessary to prevent a collapse of the banking system. A deeper understanding of money could have prevented the Great Recession which followed. The truth is exactly opposite of the QTM idea that money does not affect the real economy. In fact, money plays a central role in the real economy. The mystery of why, even after repeated rejections, such an obviously wrong theory continues to dominate will be addressed in later articles.

threebooksIn our PhD Economics program at Stanford, we learnt nothing about the history of major economic events of the twentieth century. Instead, we were taught the rather arcane and difficult skill of building models. In order to analyse what would happen in an economy, we learnt that you have to construct an artificial economy, populated by rational robots called homo economicus, who behave according to strict mathematical laws. At no point in our studies were we asked to match what happens in our models with any events in the real world; it was assumed that the two always matched. This process of economic modelling permits us to provide exact mathematical answers to a vast range of questions one might ask about the economy. This is undoubtedly a powerful technique, which has earned economics the name “Queen of the Social Sciences”. Our poor cousins in political science, psychology, sociology, geography, and so on, have to study the more complex real world, and cannot offer anything comparable. Nonetheless, the power of mathematical modelling derives from the extremely unrealistic assumption that real world events and human behaviour can be predicted by mathematical formulae. Thus, the precise predictions of economists are often dramatically contradicted by real world outcomes. As Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman remarked after the global financial crisis took economists by surprise: “the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth.”

My own education in economics began many years after graduate school, when I chanced across a copy of Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxesby Paul Bairoch. Bairoch’s book challenged one of the holy cows of economic theory, that free trade is always a superior policy for all parties. Believing in free trade is a hallmark of economists — a recent survey showed that 90 per cent of economists believe in it, while only 20 per cent of the general public believe that free trade is always optimal. So it came as a shock to me when Bairoch discussed many historical episodes to show that free trade had caused harm to the less developed nations, by preventing development of industries, and also by creating unemployment. Many nations with strong industries had built them up under the umbrella of protection, contrary to free trade principles. This historical evidence was strongly in conflict with the mathematical demonstrations of superiority of free trade that I had learnt in graduate school. In bewilderment, I asked several of my mentors, very senior and respected economists, about this. I was even more surprised by the responses I received. None of them were familiar with the historical evidence, and furthermore, they did not find it relevant. They argued that if protection provided good results, then free trade would have provided even better results. The mathematical proofs were impervious to empirical evidence.

Economists do not study history because it is a record of particular events, while they search for universal scientific laws, which would be equally valid among the Aztecs and the Zulu, in the nineteenth century and in the twenty-first. I realised that the laws of economics hold only in an imaginary world populated by robots, and that to learn real economics, it was necessary to study history, which I had bypassed in graduate school. It was only after many years of detailed historical studies of real world economic events that I came to realise that nearly everything I had been taught in graduate school was wrong.

Recent historical events have shaken the faith of many true believers in free market economics. A landmark 2013 study by Autor, Dorn and Hanson, found that competition from China has destroyed jobs and lowered wages in many US industries, especially manufacturing. Contrary to economic theory, which states that the displaced labourers will find better jobs in different sectors, workers displaced by Chinese competition often went on the government dole. A large group of heterodox economists, students and laymen are becoming increasingly aware of the lack of realism, ideological bias, and lack of concern with poverty and inequality, which are hallmarks of modern economic theory. However, dissent is weak and dis-united, while orthodoxy is firmly entrenched in the halls of power. The task of creating a new economics remains as essential as it is undone. 

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC 2007), the Queen of England asked academics at the London School of Economics why no one saw it coming. TcrisisGFChe US Congress constituted a committee to investigate the failure of economic theory to predict the crisis.  Unfortunately, economists remain unable to answer this critical question. Some say that crises are like earthquakes, impossible to forecast. Others take refuge behind technical aspects of complex mathematical models. With monotonous regularity, more than 200 monetary crises have occurred globally, ever since financial liberalization started in the 1980’s. the methodology currently in use in economics systematically blinds economists to the root causes of these crises. Many leading economists have called for radical changes to bring economic theory into closer contact with reality.

Many who had hoped that the  GFC would serve as a wake-up call for the profession have been extremely disappointed by subsequent developments. Although there has been a flurry of papers on various aspects of the crisis, there has been no fundamental re-thinking. Theories which assume free markets will create full employment and maximal growth, continue to be taught at  universities. The rational expectations theory of Eugene Fama says that the stock market prices always correctly reflect the information available to the market, and there is no possibility of a bubble – a systematic over-valuation of all stock market prices. Under the influence of this theory, Robert Shiller’s demonstration that the stock market prices were over-inflated went unheeded. Similarly, warnings by many Cassandras like Steve Keen, Raghuram Rajan, Dean Baker, Nouriel Roubini, were ridiculed and ignored by senior level policy makers infatuated with free market dogma.

The last nail in the coffin of the US Economy was driven in when the Glass-Steagall act was repealed in 1999. The Great Depression in 1929 had been caused by irresponsible speculation by banks. In 1933, the Glass-Steagall act prohibited banks from investing in stocks, in order to prevent recurrences of this disaster. This prevented system-wide banking crises for 50 years, until the era of financial de-regulation ushered in by Reagan & Thatcher. Repeal of the act, combined with a lax monetary policy, led to precisely what it was meant to prevent. Banks went on a wild orgy of credit creation, enabling stock purchases of trillions of dollars backed by defective mortgage based securities. Banking crises like this routinely happen when banks are not strictly regulated, since they gamble with the depositors’ money. Financial moguls have created and popularized the misconception that banks are the backbone of the financial system, and must be supported regardless of misdeeds. Thus big banks are routinely bailed out when they indulge in wild gambles. This incentivizes banks to speculate: if they win, it is their personal gain. If they lose, someone else pays.

Even though economists blinded by free market ideologies could not predict it, the global financial crisis was very predictable. Giving permission to banks to gamble with other people’s money led to a financial crisis within the short span of eight years. However, what was surprising and perhaps unpredictable was the aftermath. Instead of being tarred and feathered, Eugene Fama went on to win a Nobel Prize in Economics. Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas, who confidently asserted that economists have learned how to prevent recessions, continues to enjoy the respect of the profession. Ben Bernanke, who presided over the Federal Reserve during the Global Financial Crisis, is being lauded as a hero. He has written a self-congratulatory book entitled “The Courage to Act” in which he praises himself for taking the heroic actions necessary to save the world from the complete collapse of the financial system. As Princeton economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi have shown in their celebrated book “The House of Debt”, these actions were wrong, and harmful to the economy. The trillion dollar bailout given to banks by Bernanke should have been given to the distressed homeowners with the defaulting mortgages. That would have been just, and would also have saved the economy from the Great Recession, by preventing the large scale transfer of wealth from the impoverished mortgagers to the rich and criminal bankers.

Not only do the faulty theories which led to the crisis continue to be taught to unsuspecting students all over the world, but all efforts to reform the defective system have been blocked. In the US Congress, proposals to bring back the highly successful regulatory system which was created after the Great Depression failed. A few bills which were passed were quietly repealed later. There have been large numbers of seminars and conferences on the need for a new regulatory framework to protect the global financial system, but no action has been taken to create effective new regulations. Thus the system is ripe for another crisis, and there are many signs that another one is on the way.

The reader might wonder, like the author, why there has been no learning from experience? The answer lies in the statistics recently published by Oxfam. The number of people who own half of the wealth of the planet shrank rapidly from 388 in 2010 to only 62 in 2015. The richest people benefit vastly from the financial crises which destroy the wealth of the middle class. This is because the middle class is forced to borrow at interest from those who have the money. This enables the already wealthy to get rich much faster than in normal times where people have enough money for their own needs. To top it all, current economic theories make no mention of debt as an important economic factor. These seriously defective theories are of vital importance in concealing the workings of the mechanism which creates this massive concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority. In subsequent articles we will explore the large number of ways in which current economic theory is defective, and the radical reforms needed to create a better economic theory for the twenty first century.

 

Current global governance has not proved to be a receipt to achieve sustainable growth. In truth, despite the global governance discourse, the instability of global macroeconomic dynamics has been reinforced by the expansion of global finance.

In the last weeks, the failure of current global governance has also been related to corruption. Indeed, the Panama Papers exposed a global network of corruption and added more concerns to the scepticism about the compliance with good governance principles.

Looking back, in the context of the crisis of the Keynesian pattern of international regulation, increasing political pressures enhanced trade and financial deregulation and the neoliberal critique to the postwar pattern of development stimulated the relevance of the market forces to promote economic growth. After the 1990s, the global governance agenda focused economic policy rules and, in the context of economic integration, global investors turn out to “punish” the lack of credibility in those national governments that do not follow the disciplinary rules.  Besides, deep structural changes involved increasing capital mobility, the global expansion of banks and institutional investors. As a result, the dynamics of economic growth and job creation has been increasingly subordinated to asset management strategies in a context of high capital mobility.

Current global governance certainly affects day-to-day life of citizens. For example, mainly after the global crisis, austerity programs have subordinated the whole policy decision process that turns out to look for a realignment of relative prices (mainly real wages) and further structural reforms (mainly in the public sector and the labour market). Longer working hours, job destruction, turnover, outsourcing, workforce displacement, job reduction and loss of rights are part of the spectrum of management practices that emerge from the austerity guidelines. This scenario, characterized by precarious jobs, enhances the vulnerability of workers, mainly young people.

Corruption has become not only a threat to global good governance but also a social problem which cannot be neglected.   Within this scenario, corruption – that is to say, the abuse of the use of public institutions and resources for private gain – turned out to be a global problem because its practices frequently involve international players and transactions. Accordingly the OECD, corruption occurs at those points where the political, bureaucratic and economic interests coincide.

Since the late 1980s, many studies have shown conclusively that corruption is detrimental to both the economic and the political well-being of countries since the widespread of corruption creates distortions, inefficiencies and increases inequality. Indeed, a broad range of practices imposes deep societal costs that prevent economic growth and weaken political institutions by undermining trust.

Considering the links between globalization, economic growth, inequality  and corruption, it is, therefore, appropriate to  include the complex converging economic, political and social  issues of the “economics of corruption” in the economics curriculum. Economics education will certainly involve students while learning and thinking critically about these challenges.

 

 

Modern economic theory is founded on the  principle that human beings “maximize utility”; that is, they choose the best action from among a collection of choices. This axiom is considered self-evident: why would anyone make an inferior choice, when a better option is available? However, the mathematical formulation of this axiom is far from realistic. After all, it is self-evident that human behavior cannot be described by mathematical laws. Critics have invented the term “homo economicus” to describe behavior governed by economic laws, which differs drastically from normal human behavior. We can describe homo economicus as cold, calculating, and callous. We explain each of these terms separately.

The theory of consumimages (9)er behavior which is taught in business school differs drastically from the same theory taught in the economics school. The homo economicus of economists is cold – not subject to any emotional influences in his consumption decisions.  In complete contrast, a fundamental axiom of consumer theory in the business school is that effective marketing appeals to emotions instead of reason.  The proven effectiveness of business school methods in getting consumers to purchase a wide range of completely useless goods shows the superiority of their models of human behavior.

The term ‘maximize’ describes the assumption that homo economicus calculates the consequences of his actions to the last penny, and utilizes any opportunity for even the slightest gain. Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon observed that real human beings do not act according to this assumption. He invented the term “satisficing” to describe the observed behavior of real humans. Satisficing means making a choice which is satisfactory, or sufficient for the purpose, instead of maximizing, or searching for the best possible choice. For a wide range of situations, satisficing is a much better description of  human behavior than the maximization done by homo economicus.

Finally callous refers to the assumption that homo economicus is concerned solely with his own personal gains, and does not have any concern for others. Psychologists who learned of this bizarre theory of the economists decided to test it in a simple lab experiment. They gave some amount of money, like $10, to a subject X, and asked him to divide the money with another subject Y. The subject X was completely free to choose how to divide the money, including keeping all $10 for himself and leaving none for the subject Y. In fact, almost no one did this. Many subjects split the money into equal shares while nearly all gave at least $3 to the other subject. Only economists, blinded by their theories, found these results strange. According to economists, all subjects should keep all $10 for themselves and give nothing to others. Interestingly, in experiments among college students, economics students behaved the most selfishly, occasionally even keeping the entire amount for themselves.

The discovery of the great divergence between homo economicus and real people led to the creation of Behavioral Economics. This discipline studies actual behavior of people via experiments like the one described above. This goes against modern economic theory, which uses mathematics to calculate human behavior. For a long time, behavioral economics was an outcaste subject within the economics discipline. Actual human behavior was complex and varied, and conflicted strongly with the mathematical laws according to which homo economicus behaves. Leading behavioral economists advised their students not to study the subject, since they would have difficulty finding jobs as economists. The situation changed gradually as the radically different predictions of behavioral economists often turned out to be more accurate than conventional economic theory. Robert Shiller used behavioral theories to show that stock markets were overpriced, something which was not possible in the world of the rational robots that conventional economic theories study. After the Global Financial Crisis proved him right, Shiller was awarded a Nobel Prize, and Behavioral Economics acquired a new respectability among economists. Nonetheless, mainstream economists continue to treat behavorial theories as a sideshow, and homo economicus continues to occupy the central place in modern economic theory. We cannot hope for a realistic economic theory until this situation changes, and a more realistic theory of human behavior is adopted for use by economists.

NOTE: The failures of neoclassical utility theory are extensively discussed in: The Empirical Evidence Against Neoclassical Utility Theory: A Review of the Literature, International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2012, pp. 366-414

Based on my analysis of Polanyi’s methodology, I have come to the conclusion that a radical economics textbook for the twenty first century can be based on a single CORE principle, which REVERSES conventional methodology. Conventional methodology, both heterodox and orthodox, considers economic theories to be a means to understanding economic events. INSTEAD, we should look at how theories emerged as people searched for explanations for emergent historical events. In particular, different theories would favor different group interests and the dominance of one theory over others would be dictated by the political power of the different groups For example, Polanyi shows how theories are generated by historical process — the emergence of the possibility of large scale production led to the emergence of market friendly theories.

This idea was lost from view because of the empiricist illusion that the facts by themselves are sufficient to determine theories. A great deal of creative energy goes into weaving a narrative around any given collection of facts, leaving a great deal of room for human agency, and for blending in class interests into a theory. Instead of using theories to understand economic processes, I would like to use historical context to understand the formation of economic theories. For example:

Raising levels of production vastly beyond subsistence made trade much more important. This led to the rise of Mercantilism, which advocated selling products for gold. This favors the merchant class, but may or may not be aligned with the interests of the labor class.

The controversy over corn laws versus free trade, reflects the battle between landed aristocracy and the newly emerging trading classes, with eventual victory to the latter. The doctrine of free trade emerged in England, when it had a fifty year lead in the industrial revolution over the rest of the world. The doctrine of infant industry emerged in Germany (Friedrich List) when it needed protection from English imports in order to develop its own industry.

The Great Depression led to the creation of Keynesian economics, which is based on a certain analysis of GD 29,

Krugman “Peddling Prosperity” discusses the relationships between popular economic theories and interest groups.

It is not national interest, but narrower class/group interests which are protected by economic theories. For example, Mian & Sufi, in House of Debt, talk about the emergence of the “banking view” which was the basis of policy-making in aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis — this held that allowing banks to fail would collapse the entire economy, and hence bailouts were needed. They argue instead that protecting the mortgagors would have both prevented the crisis and prevented the Great Recession. The emergence and dominance of the banking view was due to the power of the financial lobby. At the same time, the lobby worked hard to popularize the idea that “irresponsible households” should not be bailed out, to prevent the natural solution.

I have only provided barebones outlines of an idea, because I do not have the training required to provide the details. My knowledge of economic history is superficial, wherease a good analysis along the lines proposed would require substantially deeper knowledge.However, I think the project is important, and I would like to invite readers who have the required knowledge to provide textbook style sketches of the analysis of emergence of theories as responses to changes in economic context, and the relationship of these theories to the interests of the various social groups. A brief summary in posts, and links to more detailed expositions would be very welcome,.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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