Misfortunes of Prosperity: An Introduction to Modern Political Economy

Overview

translated by Jacqueline Lindenfeld Are robust economic growth and tight social cohesion something of the past, or is contemporary stagnation simply part of a long economic cycle that is bound to bring brighter days? Should government step in to boost productivity and income, or does economic globalization necessitate a new laissez-faire model for the twenty-first century? The Misfortunes of Prosperity elucidates the current debates on these and other questions in a fast-paced and incisive tour of the dominant ...

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Overview

translated by Jacqueline Lindenfeld Are robust economic growth and tight social cohesion something of the past, or is contemporary stagnation simply part of a long economic cycle that is bound to bring brighter days? Should government step in to boost productivity and income, or does economic globalization necessitate a new laissez-faire model for the twenty-first century? The Misfortunes of Prosperity elucidates the current debates on these and other questions in a fast-paced and incisive tour of the dominant ideas in political economy, summarizing historical and theoretical perspectives on the causes of economic growth in the United States,Western Europe, Japan and elsewhere as the twentieth-century draws to a close.Daniel Cohen discusses the effects of the showdown of productivity in Europe and the United States and explains the origin of the apparent tradeoff between unemployment in Europe and wage inequalities in the United States. On questions of economic policy and the competing academic views (new classical and Keynesian) of the efficacy of government intervention, Cohen inverts the Keynesian belief that government intervention causes growth, and explains why waves of government interventions (including wars) usually follow upward economic trends (rather than create it). But he also advocates government discretion rather than government neutrality by showing the disastrous consequences of hands off approach to debt, inflation, and social security.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A revised edition of a work originally published in French (Julliard, 1994), this serves as a tour of the dominant ideas in political economy, summarizing historical and theoretical perspectives on the causes of economic growth in the US, Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere. Among other issues, the author discusses the effects of the showdown of productivity in Europe and explains the origins of the apparent tradeoff between unemployment in Europe and wage inequalities in the US. He advocates government discretion by showing the disastrous consequences of a hands-off approach to debt, inflation, and social security. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262517065
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Pages: 186
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Cohen is Professor of Economics at the École Normale Supérieure and the Université de Paris-I. A member of the Council of Economic Analysis of the French Prime Minister, he is the author of The Wealth of the World and the Poverty of Nations, Our Modern Times: The Nature of Capitalism in the Information Age, Globalization and Its Enemies, and Three Lectures on Post-Industrial Society, all published by the MIT Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgements
1 Slowdown in Growth 3
2 Jobs and Unemployment 31
3 Keynes and His Shadow 59
4 The New Monetarist Orthodoxy 85
5 Economic and Political Cycles 111
6 The Two Crises of Keynesianism 129
Appendix A: The History of Wealth 135
Appendix B: The History of the Modern State 149
Appendix C: Underconsumption Theories 159
Notes 163
Index 169
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