IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Hyman Minsky's Theory of Capitalist Development


  • Charles J. Whalen

    (Institute for Industry Studies, Cornell University)


During the last decade of his life, Hyman Minsky drew on insights acquired from Joseph Schumpeter in an effort to explore the long-term development of capitalism. He believed such an exploration would underscore the economic implications of postwar financial-system innovations and could encourage a broad discussion regarding the appropriate structure of the U.S. economy. This paper focuses on the theory of capitalist development that Minsky produced during that decade. After describing the purposes of Minsky's exploration, his theory is outlined both in terms of its essential elements and as it applies to the U.S. economy. In addition to emphasizing the relations between finance and business, Minsky identified a transition through at least five distinct stages of capitalism: from the merchant-capitalist era to a recent period dominated by money managers. A concluding section identifies a number of research directions suggested by Minsky's analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles J. Whalen, 2000. "Hyman Minsky's Theory of Capitalist Development," Macroeconomics 0004024, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004024 Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 11; figures: included

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hyman P. Minsky & Charles J. Whalen, 1996. "Economic Insecurity and the Institutional Prerequisites for Successful Capitalism," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_165, Levy Economics Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004024. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.