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Are Markets Like Mushrooms? and Other Neoliberal Quandries


  • Mieke Meurs

    (Department of Economics, American University, 4400 Massachusets Ave., N. W., Washington DC 20016


The neoliberal Washington Consensus dominated global policy making over the 1980s. Fundamental to this consensus were three theoretical and ideological tenets: that privatization and markets are a natural order and that this order is best achieved if the state economic role is limited. I argue that private property and markets simply cannot be established as neoliberals propose, nor can the state be so easily curtailed. To support this argument, I will draw briefly on examples from the "transition economies." I argue that a more historical understanding of the nature of markets, property, and diverse forms of social organization will allow policy makers to more accurately use these institutions to achieve desired ends. This does not resolve the question of how to define those ends.

Suggested Citation

  • Mieke Meurs, 2000. "Are Markets Like Mushrooms? and Other Neoliberal Quandries," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 461-469, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:32:y:2000:i:3:p:461-469

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary Dymski & James Crotty, 2000. "Can the Global Neoliberal Regime Survive Victory in Asia? The Political Economy of the Asian Crisis," Published Studies ps5, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. David R. Howell & Margaret Duncan & Bennett Harrison, 1998. "Low Wages in the US and High Unemployment in Europe: A Critical Assessment of the Conventional Wisdom," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 1998-01, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School, revised Aug 1998.
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