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Primitivization of the EU Periphery: The Loss of Relevant Knowledge


  • Erik S. Reinert


The European periphery . from Greece to Spain and the Baltic States . is hard hit by economic crises in the form of unemployment and falling real wages. The immediate reasons for these crises, .the straw that broke the nationsÿ backÿ so to say, are not the same. The countries in crisis may have had irresponsible budget deficits or irresponsible housing and prop-erty booms, but . as this article argues . the present underlying problems in the European Union can partly be attributed to ignoring previously well-understood economic insights and wisdom based on the interplay between geography, technology, and economic structure. This ignored knowledge abounds in the German-speaking literature, in this chapter represented by three economists: Heinrich von Thünen, Friedrich List, and Joseph Schumpeter, whose collective lives span from 1783 to 1950. Although all three worked in the periphery of what is normally referred to as The German Historical School of Economics, they all centered their analysis on a qualitative understanding of economic phenomena which disappeared from ruling economic theory, and consequently also from the understanding of politicians.

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  • Erik S. Reinert, 2013. "Primitivization of the EU Periphery: The Loss of Relevant Knowledge," The Other Canon Foundation and Tallinn University of Technology Working Papers in Technology Governance and Economic Dynamics 48, TUT Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance.
  • Handle: RePEc:tth:wpaper:48

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    1. Taylor, Mark Zachary, 2004. "Empirical Evidence Against Varieties of Capitalism's Theory of Technological Innovation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 601-631, July.
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