IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/maneco/v5y2018i2p20n2.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Two Movements in Economic Thought, 1700–2000: Empty Economic Boxes Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • McCloskey Deirdre Nansen

    (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA)

Abstract

My theme is of a Rise and a Fall of understanding, coming from a failure to measure ones understanding. Down to 1848 the new field of political economy was gradually coming to understand the system of market-tested betterment (lamentably called by its enemies “capitalism”). After 1848, however, more and more of the economists, as they increasingly called themselves, came gradually to misunderstand it. Indeed, the political left and the middle came to treat the theories of exchange-tested betterment with angry contempt, such as Thorstein Veblen’s blast against English economics, with its allegedly necessary assumption of the «hedonistic conception of man… of a lightning calculator of pleasures and pains, who oscillates like a homogeneous globule of desire of happiness under the impulse of stimuli» (Veblen, Thorstein. 1898. “Why Is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 12(July): 373–397). “Imperfections” in the market took center stage in economics, and the understanding that had developed during the Rise was at best forgotten, or at worst condemned as “capitalist” propaganda, so obviously false that no actual measurement of its falsity need be offered.

Suggested Citation

  • McCloskey Deirdre Nansen, 2018. "The Two Movements in Economic Thought, 1700–2000: Empty Economic Boxes Revisited," Man and the Economy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-20, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:maneco:v:5:y:2018:i:2:p:20:n:2
    DOI: 10.1515/me-2018-0010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/me-2018-0010
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1515/me-2018-0010?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10544.
    2. Thomas C. Leonard, 2016. "Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10572.
    3. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
    4. McCloskey,Deirdre N., 1994. "Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521436038, October.
    5. Robert H. Frank, 2005. "Positional Externalities Cause Large and Preventable Welfare Losses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 137-141, May.
    6. Olivier Giovannoni, 2014. "What Do We Know About the Labor Share and the Profit Share? Part III: Measures and Structural Factors," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_805, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Olivier Giovannoni, 2014. "What Do We Know About the Labor Share and the Profit Share? Part II: Empirical Studies," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_804, Levy Economics Institute.
    8. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    9. Harcourt,G. C., 1972. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521096720, October.
    10. Elinor Ostrom, 2010. "Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 641-672, June.
    11. A M. C Waterman, 2012. "Adam Smith and Malthus on high wages," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 409-429, June.
    12. Persky, Joseph, 2016. "The Political Economy of Progress: John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190460631, Decembrie.
    13. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    14. Olivier Giovannoni, 2014. "What Do We Know About the Labor Share and the Profit Share? Part I: Theories," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_803, Levy Economics Institute.
    15. Ryuzo Sato, 1963. "Fiscal Policy in a Neo-Classical Growth Model: An Analysis of Time Required for Equilibrating Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 16-23.
    16. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Chennat Gopalakrishnan (ed.), Classic Papers in Natural Resource Economics, chapter 9, pages 178-203, Palgrave Macmillan.
    17. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    18. McCloskey,Deirdre N., 1994. "Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521434751, October.
    19. repec:eee:labchp:v:2:y:1986:i:c:p:1139-1181 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    21. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116-116.
    22. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124-124.
    23. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wilfred Dolfsma & Patrick J. Welch, 2009. "Paradigms and Novelty in Economics: The History of Economic Thought as a Source of Enlightenment," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(5), pages 1085-1106, November.
    2. Darcy W E Allen, 2020. "When Entrepreneurs Meet:The Collective Governance of New Ideas," World Scientific Books, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., number q0269, December.
    3. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2014. "Paternalism against Veblen: Optimal Taxation and Non-Respected Preferences for Social Comparisons," Working Papers in Economics 606, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Rosolino A. Candela & Vincent J. Geloso, 2020. "The Lighthouse Debate and the Dynamics of Interventionism," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 289-314, September.
    5. Anastassios Karayiannis & Aristides Hatzis, 2012. "Morality, social norms and the rule of law as transaction cost-saving devices: the case of ancient Athens," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 621-643, June.
    6. Jon D. Wisman, 2013. "Wage stagnation, rising inequality and the financial crisis of 2008," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(4), pages 921-945.
    7. Graff Zivin, Joshua & Mullins, Jamie, 2015. "Vessel buybacks in fisheries: The role of auction and financing structures," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 188-197.
    8. James Rising, 2014. "Creating the Commons: Fisheries and the World Bank," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 75-95.
    9. Peter Lunn, 2015. "Are Consumer Decision-Making Phenomena a Fourth Market Failure?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 315-330, September.
    10. Damrich, Sebastian & Kealey, Terence & Ricketts, Martin, 2022. "Crowding in and crowding out within a contribution good model of research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1).
    11. Nathalie Lazaric & Vanessa Oltra, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption in an Evolutionary Framework: How to Foster Behavioural Change?," Chapters, in: Blandine Laperche & Nadine Levratto & Dimitri Uzunidis (ed.), Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. ., 2019. "Economic theory of non-territorial unbundling," Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Non-Territorial Exit, chapter 1, pages 14-38, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Liu, Jing & Qin, Tianbao, 2018. "A Comparative Analysis of Fishing Rights From a Transaction Cost Perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 89-99.
    14. Jon D. Wisman & Barton Baker, 2011. "Increasing Inequality and the Financial Crises of 1929 and 2008," Working Papers 2011-01 JEL classificatio, American University, Department of Economics.
    15. Jongwook Kim & Joseph T. Mahoney, 2002. "Resource-based and property rights perspectives on value creation: the case of oil field unitization," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4-5), pages 225-245.
    16. Sabau, Gabriela & Boksh, F.I.M. Muktadir, 2017. "Fish Trade Liberalization Under 21st Century Trade Agreements: The CETA and Newfoundland and Labrador Fish and Seafood Industry," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 222-233.
    17. Kaushik Basu, 1987. "Technological Stagnation, Tenurial Laws and Adverse Selection," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-1987-014, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2006. "Integrity and Efficiency in the EU: The Case against the European economic constitution," Working Papers hal-00972707, HAL.
    19. Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "The Laws of Lawlessness," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 471-503, June.
    20. De Alessi, Michael & Sullivan, Joseph M. & Hilborn, Ray, 2014. "The legal, regulatory, and institutional evolution of fishing cooperatives in Alaska and the West Coast of the United States," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 217-225.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:maneco:v:5:y:2018:i:2:p:20:n:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Golla (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.