The State and Economic Knowledge: The American and British Experiences / Edition 1

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Overview

This book addresses an important but inadequately recognized dimension of the activities of the modern state—the role it plays in producing the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for economic policy making. Over time, governments in modern societies have assumed the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the economic well-being of their citizens and for protecting their competitive positions in the international economy. To perform their various coordinating functions effectively, and to maintain legitimacy, governments have found it necessary to rely on accurate information regarding economic conditions and trends, and on empirically based theories or models that allow officials to anticipate the economy's performance under specified conditions. The traditional assumption, which this collection of essays challenges, is that despite this profound dependence governments have generally acted as passive consumers of whatever ideas economists in the private sector and professions had to offer. This book brings together papers that reveal the ways in which modern states have helped to generate new economic knowledge and how that process interacts with economic changes, specific political institutions and ideological contexts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection of papers, prepared for a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Symposium, explores the relations between government and the development of knowledge. A deliberate focus on the institutional history and political economy of Great Britain and the United States ensures an insightful treatment of the interplay between economic knowledge, policy development and execution, and the emergence of new organizational forms in modernizing societies." Finance and Development

"...an outstanding work that will help to set the agenda for years to come for further research by students interested in the relationship between public policy and economic thought." Journal of Economic History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521523158
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/2002
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press
  • Edition description: FIRST/REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 477
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Michael J. Lacey; Part I. The State and the Uses of Economic Knowledge: 1. Ideas, institutions, and state in the United States and Britain: an introduction Mary O. Furner and Barry Supple; 2. Economic knowledge and government in Britain: some historical and comparative reflections Donald Winch; Part II. The State and Economic Performance: 3. Liberty by design: freedom, planning, and John Quincy Adams's American system John Lauritz Larson; 4. Government as a laboratory for economic learning in the years of the Democratic Roosevelt William J. Barber; 5. The emergence of economic growthmanship in the United States: federal policy and economic knowledge in the Truman years Robert M. Collins; 6. The treasury's analytical model of the British economy between the wars Peter Clarke; 7. Old dogs and new tricks: the British treasury and Keynesian economics in the 1940s and 1950s George C. Peden; Part III. Industrial Maturity and Economic Policy: 8. Knowing capitalism: public investigation and the labor question in the long progressive era Mary O. Furner; 9. Economic inquiry and the state in new era America: antistatist corporatism and positive statism in uneasy coexistence Ellis W. Hawley; 10. Official economic inquiry and Britain's industrial decline: the first fifty years Barry Supple; 11. Economic ideas and government policy on industrial organization in Britain since 1945 Leslie Hannah; Part IV. Economic Knowledge and Social Action: 12. Economic knowledge and British social policy Jose Harris; 13. Economists and the formation of the modern tax system in the United States: the World War I crisis W. Elliot Brownlee; 14. Population, economists, and the state: the royal commission of population, 1944-1949 Jay M. Winter; About the authors; Index.

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