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Veblen, Economic Policy and the Present Crisis


  • Ramazzotti, Paolo

    () (Università di Macerata)


The aim of the paper is to discuss Veblen’s views of how and why business requirements intrinsically contrast the livelihood of the community. It contends that, unfortunately, Veblen’s notion of pecuniary gain is either too restrictive or too broad to conceive of an economy that overcomes the profitability-serviceability dichotomy. A proper understanding of the dichotomy and of possible policies to contrast it has to situate it within capitalist market relations, where important social categories are turned into commodities despite their incompatibility with such a role. This typically Polanyian approach aims to conceive of a policy that acts on the degree of commodification of the economy and, in particular, of its fictitious commodities, thereby avoiding waverings between the forced acquiescence to the status quo and the millenarian expectation of an all-encompassing change.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramazzotti, Paolo, 2014. "Veblen, Economic Policy and the Present Crisis," European Journal of Economic and Social Systems, Lavoisier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 73-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ejessy:0011

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    More about this item


    Veblen; K. Polanyi; commodification; crises; economic policy; prices; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


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