Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek saw the liberty principle as focal and accorded it strong presumption, but their wisdom invokes how little we can know. In Knowledge and Coordination, Daniel Klein re-examines the elements of economic liberalism. He interprets Hayek's notion of spontaneous order from the aestheticized perspective of a Smithian spectator, real or imagined. Klein addresses issues economists have had surrounding the notion of coordination by distinguishing the concatenate coordination of Hayek, Ronald Coase, and Michael Polanyi from the mutual coordination of Thomas Schelling and game theory. Clarifying the meaning of cooperation, he resolves debates over whether entrepreneurial innovation enhances or upsets coordination, and thus interprets entrepreneurship in terms of discovery or new knowledge. Beyond information, knowledge entails interpretation and judgment, emergent from tacit reaches of the 'society of mind,' itself embedded in actual society. Rejecting homo economicus in favor of the 'deepself,' Klein offers a distinctive formulation of knowledge economics, entailing asymmetric interpretation, judgment, entrepreneurship, error, and correction-and kinds of discovery-which all serve the cause of liberty. This richness of knowledge joins agent and analyst, and meaningful theory depends on tacit affinities between the two. Knowledge and Coordination highlights the recurring connections to underlying purposes and sensibilities, of analysts as well as agents. Behind economic talk of market communication and social error and correction lies Klein's Smithian allegory, with the allegorical spectator representing a conception of the social. Knowledge and Coordination instructs us to declare such allegory. Knowledge and Coordination is an authoritative take on how, by confessing the looseness of its judgments and the by-and-large status of its claims, laissez-faire liberalism makes its economic doctrines more robust and its presumption of liberty more viable.
To those who know Adam Smith principally by his classic treatise on economics, The Wealth of Nations, this earlier work may come as a revelation. Smith is often misrepresented in the public imagination as a cold, calculating rationalist espousing the pursuit of self-interest in the marketplace of laissez-faire capitalism, regardless of the human cost. This grossly inaccurate portrait may go back to Karl Marx, who seems not to have read Smith's work very carefully and thus criticized him as an unfeeling advocate of a system that exploited and alienated workers. The Theory of Moral Sentiments, however, clearly demonstrates that besides mundane economic pursuits, Smith was just as interested, if not more so, in the capacity of people to bestow and to esteem benevolence, and to strive for virtue even while they are pursuing their own self-interest. The root of our motivation to act benevolently toward others, says Smith, is our natural propensity to sympathize with others. By the same token, our need to have others sympathize with us fuels our desire to be esteemed by others for our benevolence and generally virtuous character. But beyond the need for social approbation, we also have a genuine desire to live according to the dictates of conscience (called by Smith the 'Impartial Spectator'). This is our highest impulse and leads us continually to strive for excellence in all spheres of life quite apart from any recognition or encouragement from others. It may be prudent in our economic life to follow our self-interest to secure the basic necessities, but this is only the first stage of personal development toward the much higher goal of living a morally virtuous life. Although The Theory of Moral Sentiments is not well known today, it was widely read and highly praised by the leading intellectuals of the day including David Hume and Edmund Burke. The book went through six different editions between 1759 and 1790 and was also translated into French by the widow of Condorcet. To gain a complete picture of Adam Smith and his ideas, every reader of The Wealth of Nations should also become familiar with his classic treatment of ethics.
Henry George's political economy has been hailed as one of the great contributions of American social criticism. His writings have, however, invited interpretation in contradictory fashion. Commentaries have used him to uphold laissez-faire social Darwinism allowing for the aggrandizement of money. Some on the left have regarded his ideology as calling for a co-operative commonwealth well beyond the intentions of the single-tax mechanism. And there are those who see him as having, in effect, written a new Declaration of Independence as powerful as that of 1776. Bringing to light his previously unavailable British writings would clear up some misunderstandings and also present the man and his ideas in a fresher historical context.
In his essay 'The end of laissez-faire,' Keynes distinguished between the agenda and the non-agenda of government. This book asks how we interpret that distinction today. A ground-breaking collection concerned with rethinking the contemporary role of the state. Comprises essays written by leading scholars and politicians. Looks back at the expansion of the social democratic state in post-war Britain, and at the subsequent challenge to this from neo-liberal ideas and policies. Discusses new doctrines for managing the state, new conceptions of the state, and new ideas for organising the delivery of public services. Covers current concepts, such as the enabling state, and topical issues such as public private partnerships. Goes beyond traditional 'state versus market' arguments. Opens up new conceptual and practical territory.
The return of Hong Kong to China in July 1997 has the potential to benefit China's rapidly expanding economy. China's handling of the transition will have enormous implications for her international standing. This is the first study to analyse the serious problems and real opportunities that the return of the colony poses to China's international status. Examining the relationships between Greater China, Hong Kong and the West, Hong Kong: China's Challenge explores the challenges that Chinese policy makers face up to 1997 and beyond: the clash of political cultures; handling problematic negotiations; dealing with conflicting economic interests. The book concludes by suggesting that a laissez faire approach to the lucrative Hong Kong markets will ensure that China harnesses the full political and economic benefits of sovereignty over the colony.
Prying Open Fortress: The Turn to Sectoral Labor Migration is unique in the field of migration studies since it traces the microeconomic motivations of the relevant economic actors who influence labor migration policy. The book updates the study of the political economy of immigration through a focus on the central and pro-active role of employers, exploring how they interact with trade unions and government to reconfigure the labor migration paradigm in Western Europe. By doing so, it is attentive to the logic behind their strategies, being sensitive to macroeconomic changes that produce sectorally variant policy outcomes. Beyond offering a micro-economically informed explanation for immigration policy, the study transcends the field of migration studies by offering insights relevant to larger debates concerning the nature of national varieties of capitalism. Challenging the 'national models' understanding of capitalism through a multi-country, multi-sectoral study of employers' policy preferences, it demonstrates how in the area of labor migration, economic branches evidence different worker flexibility needs that lead to differing policy results within countries yet similar responses in the same industries of different countries. Though the book's case studies examine policy development and the role of German, British, Austrian, and Dutch employers, the central comparison is that of Germany, with its highly regulated economy, to the more laissez-faire UK. The book analyzes labor migration policy with four concentrations: IT, hospitality, construction and metalwork, the impact of differing worker flexibility requirements upon employer calculations to make findings more obvious.
Critics of globalization often portray neoliberalism as an extremist laissez-faire political-economic philosophy that rejects government any sort of government intervention in the domestic economy. Like most over-used terms, it is more complicated than this introductory sentence suggests. This volume seeks to move beyond these caricature depictions and definitions as well as the emotional rhetoric that has unfortunately dominated both the scholastic and political debate on neoliberalism and global market-oriented reform. This book emphasizes that there are in fact a variety of neoliberalisms that share a common emphasis on the role of the market. Beyond this however, its usages and applications appear much more varied according to the cultural, economic, political, and social context in which it is used. A host of eminent contributors, including Douglass C. North, Arthur T. Denzau, Thomas D. Willett, Mark Blyth, Colin Hay, Craig Parsons, and others provide a rigorous assessment of the significance of neoliberal ideas on economic policy. Through their detailed international case studies the contributors to this book show how varied its impact has in fact been and the result is a book that will stimulate further debate in this most controversial of subject matters. Ravi K. Roy is a Research Scholar at the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Arthur T. Denzau is Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. He is also a Research Associate at the Center for American Business at Washington University (St. Louis).Thomas D. Willett is Horton Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. He is also Director of the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies
Ayn Rand is best known as the author of the perennially bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Altogether, more than 12 million copies of the two novels have been sold in the United States. The books have attracted three generations of readers, shaped the foundation of the Libertarian movement, and influenced White House economic policies throughout the Reagan years and beyond. A passionate advocate of laissez-faire capitalism and individual rights, Rand remains a powerful force in the political perceptions of Americans today. Yet twenty-five years after her death, her readers know little about her life.In this seminal biography, Anne C. Heller traces the controversial author's life from her childhood in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution to her years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, the publication of her blockbuster novels, and the rise and fall of the cult that formed around her in the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout, Heller reveals previously unknown facts about Rand's history and looks at Rand with new research and a fresh perspective. Based on original research in Russia, dozens of interviews with Rand's acquaintances and former acolytes, and previously unexamined archives of tapes and letters, AYN RAND AND THE WORLD SHE MADE is a comprehensive and eye-opening portrait of one of the most significant and improbable figures of the twentieth century.
Short-listed for 1992 GPA Award. Is economic growth improving our lives? In 1992, when the first edition of The Growth Illusion appeared, most people had little doubt that the answer was 'Yes'. Today, however, the climate of opinion has changed and there is widespread acceptance that, while growth might be necessary to generate jobs, the development path we are following isn't making life better for ourselves or our children.This new, revised edition of The Growth Illusion explains what has gone wrong. Douthwaite argues that since the 1950s, governments around the world have made economic growth their primary focus in the belief that by baking the biggest national cake, they are creating the resources needed to fulfill their political goals. Recent research in the USA, Britain, Germany and Australia shows that this 'growth first, goals later' strategy isn't working and that in the past fifteen years the growth process has actually destroyed more resources than it has created on a sustainable basis. As these economies run backwards, their citizens become worse off. So why is growth still paramount? Like an aircraft maintaining a minimum airspeed to stay aloft, so an economy must maintain a minimum growth rate if it is not to plunge into a deep depression. If demand fails to increase in any year, less investment will be made the following year, people will be thrown out of work and the economy will begin to unwind. The Growth Illusion explores this trap and many other topics along the way, asking fundamental questions about economics and the society in which we live. In this revised and reworked edition, case studies and statistics have been brought up to date and amplified by new research. Douthwaite identifies recent changes in public attitudes to growth as the beginnings of an intellectual revolution as far-reaching in its consequences for human survival as those initiated by Copernicus or Darwin in their re-assessment of man's place in creation. 'Growth has pushed the economic system beyond safe environmental limits,' he writes. 'The present revolution involves our acceptance that Earth is finite and the laws of nature apply to us.' Press comments about The Growth Illusion: 'Truly a book for our times: a fierce and unrelenting critique of the failures of laissez-faire capitalism ... I commend The Growth Illusion to all.'- The Sunday Tribune - 'Here's an economist who can entertain, blowing the whistle on consumer idiocies ... After reading Douthwaite's vivid and convincing case studies it becomes impossible to hear a politician promising 'recovery' ... without feeling mingled pity and contempt' - The Independent on Sunday -'The Growth Illusion is simply indispensable for those who wish to empower themselves by getting a grip on an alternative model to the prevailing economics of misery. What is particularly impressive is the quality of the scholarship... The publication of this book is a very significant act in democratizing economics.' - Michael D. Higgins, Hot Press 'Douthwaite is no head-banger...The Growth Illusion is a big rich book with an old-fashioned resonance: economics as morality - it does something to hasten the day when capitalism is no longer left as the only game in town.' -The Irish Times 'A terrific book, splendidly written and meticulously researched. I have no hesitation in calling Richard Douthwaite one of the best environmental journalists in the world.' - James Downey, The Universe