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The Economic Institutions of Capitalism

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  • Paolo Leon

Abstract

The 2008 crash has left all the established economic doctrines - equilibrium models, real business cycles, disequilibria models - in disarray. Part of the problem is due to Smith’s "veil of ignorance": individuals unknowingly pursue society’s interest and, as a result, have no clue as to the macroeconomic effects of their actions: witness the Keynes and Leontief multipliers, the concept of value added, fiat money, Engel’s law and technical progress, to name but a few of the macrofoundations of microeconomics. A good viewpoint to take bearings anew lies in comparing the post-Great Depression institutions with those emerging from Thatcher and Reagan’s economic policies: deregulation, exogenous vs. endoge- nous money, shadow banking vs. Volcker’s Rule. Very simply, the banks, whose lending determined deposits after Roosevelt, and were a public service became private enterprises whose deposits determine lending. These underlay the great moderation preceding 2006, and the subsequent crash.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Leon, 2012. "The Economic Institutions of Capitalism," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 4, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0247
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macro foundations of microeconomics; Smith’s veil of ignorance; Fiat money; Endogenous money; Leverage;

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)

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