The Contributions of Two Eminent Japanese Scholars on the Development of Economic Theories: Michio Morishima and Takashi Negishi
There can be no doubt that Michio Morishima and Takashi Negishi are two of the most important historians of economic thought of the recent past. Both authors contributed numerous papers and books to the subject, dealing with the works of major economists from the very inception of systematic economic thought at the time of the classical economists up until modern times. And both authors combined a vivid interest in modern economic theory with an interest in what past masters had to say. The paper assesses and compares the motivations of the two authors to engage in the history of economic theories, their similar, but different approaches to do historical research, and their achievements in this regard. Given the remarkable amount of work each one of them accomplished, the paper has to focus attention on a subset of the themes the two authors dealt with. The emphasis will be on (i) their treatment of the classical theories of value, distribution and capital accumulation, especially those of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, (ii) their discussion of the contributions of Karl Marx and some Marxists, (iii) their interpretation of some early and mature marginalist economists, especially Léon Walras, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk and Knut Wicksell, and (iv) their views about the achievements of John Maynard Keynes. Given the intrinsic complexity of each of these themes, it goes without saying that the paper is bound to proceed largely in terms of synthetic statements.
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