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Commerce in Braudel and the Marxists


  • McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen


“Commercialization” and “monetization” dance with stage theories from Smith to modern growth theory. The sheer growth of traded or the sheer growth of money, though, do not an Industrial Revolution make. The ill-named “Price Revolution,” for example, came from American gold, not from population increases, and did not inspire innovation. Commercialization comes from falling transaction costs, which should be directly studied. Fernand Braudel, however, argued for commercialization as a force transforming “capitalism.” He distinguished “capitalism” from local trade, which no economist would, and assigned blame to the capitalists. Though hardly a Marxist, he---like a brilliant group of leftish economists such as Marglin and Lazonick---puts emphasis on the struggle over the spoils. But it was not such struggles that made the modern world. It was the positive sum arising from innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "Commerce in Braudel and the Marxists," MPRA Paper 21054, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21054

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, Robert C., 1992. "Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands 1450-1850," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198282969.
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    More about this item


    commercialization; innovation; monetarization; transaction costs; braudel; marglin; lazonick;

    JEL classification:

    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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