Die Bedeutung der Geschichte für die Wirtschafts-wissenschaften und der ökonomischen Theorie für die Geschichtsforschung
AbstractEconomics and historical analysis have much to learn from each other, a fact more and more neglected in research and theory building, and especially in university instruction in German-speaking countries. The lecture tries to illustrate this by demonstrating that certain economic relationships like Gresham's law asserting that bad money drives out good with fixed exchange rates have been valid at least since Aristophanes. Similarly, it is also shown that the substitution of bad by good money (Thiers' law) and that similar magnitudes of overshooting of exchange rates, given flexible rates, during high inflation, have been present for at least four centuries. These results refute the hypothesis asserted by some well-known historians that there can be no economic laws valid in different and distant periods of history. And second, the evidence proves the usefulness of putting the hypotheses of economics to the test of history. For instance the observation that the maximal overshooting of flexible currencies showing moderate inflations has been about 30% since the seventeenth century casts doubt on modern theories asserting that such deviations are a consequence of the huge increase of capital movements in recent decades. Moreover, many open questions in economics can only be answered by looking at events which occurred in earlier historical periods. One such question is at which rates of inflation Thiers's law begins to operate, since it obviously does not work at moderate rates of inflation. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik und Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik.
Volume (Year): 6 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
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