James Anthony Lawson on commercial panics and their recurrence
In a paper read in 1848 before the Dublin Statistical Society, James Anthony Lawson propounded a theory of commercial crises based on a credit-overtrading-speculation mechanism. This view was quite widespread at the time, but it was couched in an original reinterpretation of the causal relationships. Lawson's epistemic premise that laws must be universal and that similar causes must entail similar effects implied that crises were no longer seen as disconnected events but as instances of the same class of events. This was one of the most important ingredients in the transition from the theories of crises towards theories of the business cycle.
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