malthus
georgescu
Quesnay
Clark, J.M.
Leontieff
Cassel
Hayek 1931
Carver
Einaudi
Fisher
Carlyle
Smith
Say
Spiethoff
Lange
Thornton
Mill, James
Robinson
Condorcet
Simons
Mises
Hotelling
Sidgwick
marx
Cobden

Presidential addresses


Richard Arena

25.02.2004

"EUROPEAN ECONOMICS: AHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE". Presidential address before the Eighth Annual Conference of the ESHET on “Money and Markets”, Ca’ Fos

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS ON
Ten years back, when our society was founded on the
Lérins Islands, a stone throw away from the coastline of
Cannes in Southern Frances, we had a very full agenda.
Those amongst you who were present then, will, I am
sure, remember the debates of this founding session.
Those who weren’t may well imagine. One topic in particular
was the subject of lively debate: What to call the
society. Some argued in favour of the name eventually
adopted: European Society of the History of Economic
Thought. Others would have preferred the term History
of Economics , and still others the expression History of
Economic Ideas. There was unanimous agreement on one
point, and one point only, namely that our society was to
be called European. This is perhaps not surprising. After
all, many of our members teach and research in Europe,
even though we are very happy to see that our ranks have
been swelled, from the start, by colleagues from other
continents. However, no-one present in LŽrins suggested
that the society be called “Society for the History of
European Economics”, and my guess is, that this has not
changed. Clearly, the objectives of any historian of economic
thought are universal in the sense that we are concerned
with the study of economic thought as a whole,
encompassing all national traditions, all the various currents
of economic thought and all schools of economic
thought. This ‘universalist’ attitude, characteristic of all
scientific endeavour, does not, however, preclude the
study of the particularities of national traditions or of
currents or schools of economic thought, as well as of the
links between these.
True to this latter vein of thought, it has recently
become fashionable again to speak not so much of
national, but rather of continental traditions. A theme,
that is increasingly attracting renewed attention, concerns
the relationship between Northern American and
European economics, between their respective specificities,
differences and communalities.
The last two decades have witnesses a number of
renewed attempts to approach this question. To my
knowledge, the first of these attempts came about in the
form of two articles published in the European Economic
Review by Richard Portes (in 1987) and Serge-Christophe
Kolm (in 1988), both dedicated to a discussion of the
state of economics in contemporary Europe. Among the
recent and certainly the best-informed contributions to
this topic is a volume edited by our colleague Bob Coats.
As you will be aware, this volume, published in 2000,
contains national case studies of European economics
since 1945 by a number of our most distinguished members.
The last contribution is perhaps the 2003 special
issue of HOPE edited by Roy Weintraub, that includes the
contributions to a conference organised some years ago
at Duke University. Along the way, Kyklos also dedicated
an entire special issue to the question of what is definitive
of European economics in 1995.

1. On European Economics: A starting-point
The interest of this special issue by Kyklos is that it asked
prominent contemporary economists – and not all of
them professional historians of thought – to explain why
they thought that European economics still presents specific
characteristics in spite of a general tendency to internationalisation.
As was to be expected, the answers varied.
But there also emerged a kind of consensus from
amongst the contributions that reflected an opinion
expressed a few years earlier by Bruno Frey and Reiner
Eichenberger (Frey and Eichenberger, 1992 and 1993).
This view entailed two arguments, in particular: First,
“American (U.S. and Canadian) economists contribute by
far the largest share of journal publications and are cited
much more often than European economists. In contrast,
(West-) European economists consider other aspects of
their professional activities more relevant, in particular
participating in local and national affairs” (Frey and
Eichenberger, 1993: 185). Frey and Eichenberger locate
the root cause of this first difference in the differing market
conditions faced by Northern American and
European economists, with the US and Canadian market
seen to be much larger and more competitive than its
European counter-part, thus, for instance, allowing for
an efficient ranking of journal publications. In Europe,
on the contrary, multiple languages, institutional
arrangements and public sector organisation are supposed
to restrict competition and therefore to give room
to heavy, yet low-cost government interference.
Second, “economic research by Americans tends to
focus on abstract issues defined within the profession
itself. Accordingly, it develops a market internal dynamic,
and academic fads play a considerable role. The activities
of European economists (though not necessarily
their research) are more concerned with practical issues
and follow a more steady course.” (Frey and
Eichenberger, 1993: 185). Here again, this difference is
seen to arise from the larger size and more pronounced
openness of the American market in contrast with its
European counter-part, as well as from the differing
degrees of state intervention (ibid: 188). Because of their
different environment, American economists “tend to
specialize in theory (at least until they have reached
fame), but neglect local institutions” (ibid.). According to
Frey and Eichenberger, detailed knowledge of specific
local institutional arrangements is regarded as being “of
little or low benefit” for a young Northern American
economist operating in “the continent–wide academic
market” (ibid.).By contrast, in the European case, tenure
and weak incentives to produce and publish research
induce scholars to invest in the acquisition of substantial
knowledge of local institutions and economic problems,
“which is helpful for a political career and getting various
appointments” (ibid.: 189).
I do not intend here to re-open or continue the
debate on the validity of the explanation provided by
Frey and Eichenberger. Rather, I would like to use their
position as my starting point in order to see whether it is
possible to shed new light on the question of the specificity
and identity of a European economics from the perspective
of the history of economic thought. Suffice it to
add, that an occasion such as the present one, can serve
only to articulate a few personal and tentative impressions.
More systematic research and analysis would have
to follow.
Earlier on, I spoke of ‘a kind of’ consensus view based
on Frey and Eichenberger, rather than of a definitive consensus.
The choice of words was deliberate in that some
of the contributions to the Kyklos special issue, implicitly
or explicitly, remain outside this consensus. James
Buchanan, for instance, emphasises the diversity of specific
historical and cultural settings. While these do not
provide a final and unique explanation of differences
between communities of economists, they must not be
neglected (Buchanan 1995: 195-197). Kurt Rothschild
also stresses the role of history. It is worthwhile quoting
two of his observations here, since, in my view, they capture
a central aspect of my topic. Referring to Frey and
Eichenberger’s first point on the role played by the diversity
of country-specific characteristics, such as language
and institutions, Rothschild notes: “More important are
probably the different roots which lie behind the development
of economics in the two continents. In Europe,
modern economic theorizing has developed mainly out
of philosophy and legal and political studies which were
turned into economic questions and problems. This fostered
a tendency to see economic processes in a wider
social and historical perspective than was typical for the
more pragmatically oriented American approach”
(Rothschild. 1995: 274-275).

2. On European Economics: A working hypothesis
Clearly, this signals important differences in the perspectives
on what accounts for the contrast between
Northern American and European economics. In my
view, our own discipline – the history of economic
thought – can, however, be very helpful should we wish
to lessen these potential disagreements.
If, on the one hand, we take Frey and Eichenberger’s
explanation literally and if we also take note of its potential
normative implications, there can be little doubt that
this explanation is debatable. Time constraints prevent
me from entering into a detailed discussion. But by way
of a fleeting hint at the most obvious problems, it should
be clear that their a priori assumption that there exists a
unique model of a competitive market for economists –
embodied in real-world-terms in the American academic
system – that represents an optimal point of aspiration
for all other academic systems in this world, is questionable.
It is possible, on the other hand, to interpret Frey
and Eichenberger’s view from a purely ‘positivist’ perspective.
Seen thus, I am tempted to sum up their position
in the following terms: National, institutional and
cultural factors never could be, and still cannot be, considered
by European economists, or economists working
in Europe, as mere parameters. Ever since the Industrial
Revolution, these factors have been part of the real
world. Consequently, if European economists are unwilling
to limit their enquiries to purely formal exercises, the
onus then is on them to unearth or develop a kind of
economics that gives pride of place to the real world and
to our understanding of it.
Put differently, history and institutions obviously
matter to both Northern American and European economists.
However, what characterises European history, in
particular, is the importance of perpetual social and political
rupture and upheaval, and the major influence these
have exerted on economic change. In American history,
institutional change was, of course, also a permanent feature,
but, excepting perhaps the Civil War, it did not take
the form of recurrent, and almost ceaseless, social revolutions
and major upheavals of national systems.
Ceaseless political and social change was not, therefore,
necessarily regarded as the sine qua non of economic
change in Northern American economics.
If this interpretation is correct, it comes as little surprise
that Frey and Eichenberger tell us that European
economists are less inclined than their American counterparts
“to focus on abstract issues defined within the
profession itself” (1993: 185) or that they are more “theoretically
broad and institutionally specialized” than
their Northern American colleagues (ibid.:188). Clearly,
this way of looking at the Frey and Eichenberger view is
quite compatible with the dissident voices raised above,
Buchanan and Rothschild having served us as examples.
Both these authors argue, albeit in different ways, that
while the development of economic thought rests upon
a universalist effort, it must not and cannot ignore the
weight of historical and cultural evolution, understood
(at least in part) as endogenous rather than parametric
change.
In the remainder of this address, let me illustrate this
working hypothesis, using three examples. The point of
the exercise is this: While these examples refer to vastly
different traditions in the history of European economic
thought, in terms of their national affinities, historical
contexts and theoretical affiliation, they all share one
aspect in common: Their emphasis on the importance of
history and institutions, and their insistence that economics
is not so much a catallactic science, but one dedicated
to the study of the evolution of the various modes
of the organisation of production and exchange.

3. On European Economics: Three case studies
a. The case of Jérôme Adolphe Blanqui
My first example is French. I do hope you will forgive this
slight chauvinistic indulgence on my part. This example
goes back furthest in time since it is associated with the
Liberal School of Jean-Baptiste Say. As you will be well
aware, this school was the French version of classical
political economy. However, as recent research efforts
have helped to clarify, this school of thought also contained
an important element of opposition to the British
classical school. For example, Say’s methodological position
was a compromise between inductivism and deductivism.
By comparison with Ricardo, however, it placed
considerably more emphasis on induction than on
deduction. In his Cours Complet of 1843 Say wrote, for
instance, that “political economy was wrongly considered
as a science based on hypotheses rather than experience.”
(Say, 1843: .7). Say and his disciples persistently
criticised what they called the algebraic formulations and
the dogmatism of Malthus and Ricardo that, in their
view, was instrumental in transforming “political economy
into a verbal and argumentative science” (Say, 1821).
However, his anti-deductivism did not lead Say to advocate
what we would now call an institutionalist or historicist
approach. His criticism of Malthus and Ricardo
was mainly directed against their “pessimism” on issues
such as the eradication of poverty and the future of capitalism.
Seen from Paris, British classical economists and
their dismal predictions were objectionable, because they
undermined people’s faith in natural laws and in the
spontaneous organisation of society, thus inciting them
to embark on a search for ways to improve their destiny
by advocating such ‘unnatural’ ideas as socialism and
protectionism. Put differently, the project of the French
Liberal School was to build a canonical system of political
economy based on the idea that the free market was
no more than the extension, from the political to the
economic arena, of the idea of democracy and civilisation
(thanks to the French Revolution). Obviously, to the
extent that this project was confronted with the real
world, problems surfaced. Enter JŽr™me-Adolphe
Blanqui. Let me point out that his importance, in the
present context, is not related to his being associated
with one of our annual plenary lectures. Much less, of
course, with the fact hat he was born in Nice. Rather,
Blanqui will serve as my first example of what I will call
the ‘second-in-command effect’.
But let me explain: Blanqui was Say’s favourite disciple.
As early as 1825, Say strongly supported his appointment
to the Chair of History and Political Economy at
the Specialised Business School of Paris (the Ecole
SpŽciale de Commerce de Paris) and, quite naturally, after
Say’s death in 1832, Blanqui succeeded his mentor to the
Chair of Industrial Economics of the Conservatoire des
Arts et MŽtiers (1833). He was also the main editor of the
most influential Liberal journal, the Journal des
Economistes, during the first two years of its existence.
Blanqui was, thus, the ‘second-in –command’ of the
French Liberal School. Ample confirmation of this status
is to be found in Blanqui’s PrŽcis ŽlŽmentaire d’Žconomie
politique published in 1826, and the first liberal economics
textbook, and in the well-known Histoire de l’Economie
Politique en Europe depuis les Anciens jusqu’ˆ nos jours,
which was to be the only textbook in the history of economic
thought for some decades to come.
Up until the 1830s, Blanqui was to remain a convinced
militant of the French Liberal School. But towards
the end of this decade, doubts as to the validity and relevance
of the liberal project began to surface. Far from
eliminating social poverty and unemployment, the economic
system seemed to aggravate both of these phenomena.
Initial doubts (Blanqui 1842) were transformed
into a more pronounced critique by his preoccupation
with a better understanding of the social causes of the
1848 Revolution that was, in part, triggered by a request,
in the same year, from the French Academy of Political and
Moral Sciences (of which Blanqui was a member ) to write
two reports on the state of the working classes with special
emphasis on Lyons and Saint-Etienne. The misery of
workers he observed and reported clearly contradicted
the view that with the development of economic freedom,
the ‘general welfare of men’ would automatically
increase. (Blanqui, 1882, p.XXVI). Even so, Blanqui did
not reject liberal political economy but tried to amend it
by taking account of history and specific forms of organisation.
Even more so than Say before him, Blanqui insisted
on the need for an inductivist methodology. Amongst
the members of the French Liberal school, Blanqui was
probably the most vehement and outspoken critique of
the use of mathematics and what he regarded as exaggerated
abstraction by contemporary economists. He was
adamant that political economy and history were inseparable.
The author of numerous essays on foreign countries,
he argued that the economist had to be, at the same
time, a historian and a geographer. Among the many articles
and books that could be cited as proof of these views,
the
Principales Nations Européennes (1828) is probably the best
example of Blanqui’s approach to a historical economics.
It is also, in many ways, an early forerunner of Marshall’s
Industry and Trade.
Blanqui also saw in institutions – that is, in the differing
forms of social and economic organisation – the
root cause of poverty and social deprivation. Thus, he
sharply criticised the newly emerging manufacturing sys
tem in Britain that, to him, was prone to generate overproduction,
unemployment and social inequalities, and
to destroy the health, morality and welfare of its workers.
In Sismondian fashion, he defended a different type of
capitalism, or form of social and economic organisation,
namely one that would allow for gradual technical
progress which, in turn, would exert a moderating influence
on excessive competition amongst workers and that
would leave space for the correction of the worst inequalities.
As mentioned, none of this meant that Blanqui
turned against the Liberal School. Rather, his emphasis
on the need to take account of history and of societal
organisation provided the stimulus for a change of direction
from within the School towards a stronger analytical
as well as historical concern with the role of institutions
and forms of organisation. Even if this change of direction
was not embraced by all members of the School, or
all its generations, there certainly emerged a current
within the School that combined liberalism with institutionalism,
thus paving the way for a productive dialogue
with the German Historical School at the end of the 19th
century. Seen thus, Blanqui is a perfect fit for what I have
called the ‘second-in-ommand’ phenomenon: The
founder of a school of thought, him- or herself mostly
engaged in the development of ‘pure’ theory, is succeeded
by his or her principle disciple who focuses in on the
empirical validity of the theory, its adequacy to explain
the real world, and who ends up producing a more ‘institutionalist’
or ‘impure’ variant of the initial project.
b. The case of Friedrich von Wieser
Wieser’s contribution serves as my second example. To
make up for my earlier chauvinism, this is, of course, a
tribute to our outgoing President. In my view, Wieser,
too, provides a good fit for my hypothesis of the ‘secondin-
command’ phenomenon, even though this may not
be immediately evident. Wieser’s earlier contributions –
†ber den Ursprung und die Hauptgesetze des wirthschaftlichen
Werthes and Der natŸrliche Werth – published
during the 1880s, carry the stamp of a loyal disciple of
Carl Menger rather than that of the ‘second-in-command’
in my sense. This did, however, change with the
publication of the Theorie der gesellschaftlichen Wirtschaft
in 1914. As Mitchell (1927: ix) notes, this contribution is
certainly “the first systematic treatise upon economic
theory at large produced by the Austrian School”. It sums
up, systematises, extends but also amends the theoretical
construct erected by the founding father of the Austrian
School, Carl Menger. Furthermore, the ‘second-in-command’
effect is confirmed in Wieser’s last publication,
namely Das Gesetz der Macht, published in 1926.
It is not by any accident that these latter publications
date around the First World War. In his preface to Das
Gesetz der Macht, Wieser makes it clear that his idea to
place the concept of ‘power’ at the centre of his analysis
was directly related to his experience and observation of
the war as well as the ‘inner decay’ of the Austro-
Hungarian Empire. In 1917, Wieser was appointed to the
Upper House of the Austrian parliament and, as Minister
of Commerce, he was a member of the two last Cabinets
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In other words, he took
a front seat in the arena of drastic institutional change
and its effects on economic activity. As Blanqui 70 years
before him, Wieser experienced a situation of drastic
external shocks that induced him to subject the research
programme of the school of thought he adhered to, to
further scrutiny in the context of a changed and new historical
situation. The result was that he made a number
of crucial amendments that were geared towards a better
understanding of changes in the real world.
Obviously, within the confines of this presidential
address, I cannot possibly discuss these amendments in
the detail they deserve. Even so, bear with me in the brief
mention of the most important of these changes:
First, if Wieser accepted that the static mechanics of
individual decision-making based on the concept of utility
could be useful to describe the workings of a “simple
economy”, he also thought that these were wholly insufficient
to gain an understanding of how real world monetary
economies – what he called “social economies” –
actually worked. As Blanqui before him, Wieser insisted
that what was required was a combination of economic
theory with what today we might call historical sociology.
In the work of Schumpeter, historical sociology
became economic sociology and was defined as the science
of forms of organisation.
Second, Wieser argued that, in the realm of social
economies, economic activity was governed not only by
rational individual behaviour, but also by social beliefs
and, thus, by inter-subjective interaction. Consequently,
the basic model of the economy as some form of
interplay between given utility functions had to be
inserted into a larger model that took account of power
and social interaction, so long as it could be argued that
value depended upon social stratifications and therefore
upon specific social arrangements that determined
the weights that could be attributed to the various
individual utilities.
Third, Wieser took up and extended the concept of
social leadership, already present in Menger. In this context,
he emphasised the importance of both innovative
and imitative behaviour and built a veritable theory of
the emergence of new institutions (as well as of the failure
of such institutions to emerge). This emphasis on the
role of social leadership is particularly evident in many
passages of the Theorie der gesellschaftlichen Wirtschaft,
dedicated to the theory of money and credit.
Finally, Wieser also put forth a theory of power and a
typology of different types of power that would turn out
to be rather useful in understanding institutional change
and its impact on economic dynamics. This aspect of his
7work became part of the legacy of Austrian economics.
Schumpeter adopted it, in particular, in his discussion of
the nature and role of the entrepreneur. Hayek took up
the distinction between innovative and imitative behaviour.
And Lachman generalised some of Wieser’s work,
thus transforming the Austrian tradition into a variant of
institutionalism.
Hence, once again, we find in Wieser a ‘second-incommand’:
Menger, the founder of the Austrian school
of thought, was succeeded by Wieser, the disciple who
tried to extend the theoretical skeleton provided by the
master to take account of history, sociology and institutions.
c. The case of Nicholas Kaldor
My last example is British. It may seem rather strange to
regard Kaldor as someone who was ‘second-in-command’.
He himself certainly would have regarded any
such suggestion as most preposterous. Sure enough, he
looks more like a founder figure than a ‘second-in-command’
if we take account only of the last phase of his
productive life, notwithstanding the fact that there never
was to be such a thing as a ‘Kaldorian School’, at the end
of the day. Furthermore, if I am to commit the sacrilege
of regarding Kaldor as ‘second-in-command’ in the
Keynesian School, then it is also true that there are other
likely candidates, such as for example, Richard Kahn.
Even so, let me try and put my case to you: As Blanqui
and Wieser before him, Kaldor, too, was initiated to life
as an academic economist as a loyal disciple of ‘pure theory’,
the difference being that, in his case, things turned
out to be more complicated than for Blanqui and Wieser.
Kaldor began his career by formulating a defence of precisely
those equilibrium economics that he would later
criticise so severely. He did so partly in the context of
Austrian economics (Kaldor 1937), partly by adopting a
Marshallian stance (as in his first articles on the theory of
cost and prices). That is, throughout the early 1930s
Kaldor, albeit somewhat wayward in his affiliations,
focused on the abstract and was content to meddle with
‘pure’ neoclassical theory. This changed with the publication
of Keynes’s General Theory. Kaldor’s conversion to
Keynesianism can be dated to his famous comment on
Pigou in the Economic Journal in 1937. Things were definitely
settled by the time he published his 1939 article on
the theory of speculation. According to the author, the
article’s aim is to attempt ”to generalize Keynes’s theory
of money, interest and employment on the basis of a
general theory of speculation “ (Kaldor, 1939). From then
on, Kaldor continued to make important contributions
to ‘pure’ theory, such as, for example, his celebrated
paper on the trade cycle in 1940. What had changed was
the master: This now was Keynes rather than any of his
previous and, broadly speaking, neo-classical icons.
However, subsequently Kaldor’s focus and work underwent
a further change, and this time it was reality that
took the front seat: Following in the steps of Blanqui and
Wieser, Kaldor seems to have been influenced to a considerable
extent by an external shock, namely World War

II. As he put it himself in 1955: “The assumption of a formal
obligation to maintain ‘high and stable levels of
employment’ (as the famous declaration by the wartime
coalition government in 1944 put it) was probably the
most revolutionary innovation of the century in the
sphere of government. It emerged as the result of the
joint impact of the Keynesian Revolution in economic
thought and the Second World War – neither of which
could have brought it about in the absence of the other.”
(Kaldor, 1955).
World War II was instrumental in changing the
nature of Kaldor’s inquiry into economic activities. As
Targetti notes, the events of the World War II not only
mobilised many Keynesian economists into a commitment
to full employment policies (that survived the
return to power of the Tories in 1951), but catapulted
Kaldor, amongst others, to prominence in the area of
applied economics: “In each of these fields – war economy,
financing of the public insurance system, fiscal and
exchange-rate policies to achieve full-employment, the
international transmission of economic cycles – Kaldor’s
work was so outstanding that, after his path-breaking
writings on pure economics, he now established his reputation
as an applied economist as well.” (Targetti 1992:
88). But all his contributions to the war economy and to
welfare and full-employment policies did not only serve
to increase Kaldor’s fame. They also provided him with
tools that would allow him to dig deeper and to expand
on the basic characteristics of the ‘School’ he had chosen
as his intellectual home after some ‘shopping around’. As
opposed to Say and to Menger, Keynes never had been a
defender of ‘pure’ theory, in the first place. Much as he
tried to put economic analysis and theoretical advances
to their best use, he always refused to sacrifice the raw
facts of the real world to the gods of formal elegance and
elevated abstraction. Hence, as the ‘second-in-commandof
his master, however belately adopted, Kaldor only had
to push the line that bit further. This then is exactly what
he did, constantly trying to stretch the theoretical framework
he had inherited from the ‘founding father’ to
incorporate new facts and problems. Thus his advances
on the stylised facts of economic growth, sectoral imbalances,
structural change and monetary policy and institutions.
4. From case studies to a general view?
I am, of course, aware that these case studies do not make
for a general theory. But I also think that they amount to
more than the odd exception. Of course, what springs to
mind is the case of Pigou as the ‘second-in-command ‘ of
Marshall. But then, is this not rather the exception that
confirms the rule? After all, there are other followers of
Marshall that fit the rule, such as McGregor or Robertson,
for instance. Both these authors have done their upper
most to clarify the role of institutions and forms of
organisation in Marshall’s analysis, and to increase their
importance. This is true even for Walras, on the one
hand, Aupetit, Laurent, Ricci or Emile Antonelli, on the
other – all of whom could well have assumed the role of
‘second-in-command’ had it not been for the extraordinary
hostility with which Walras’ work met in continental
Europe, and the extent to which many of its aspects
have simply been ignored. Be this as it may, what is for
sure is that Walras as well as his potential ‘seconds-incommand’
were condemned to oblivion once the socalled
Neo-Walrasians took over, including Hicks,
Samuelson, Arrow and Debreu.
But to return to my original point: Assume, for the
sake of the argument, that my interpretation is correct. In
this case, the Frey and Eichenberger view of the gulf that
has opened between Northern American and European
economics, respectively, that is, the gulf between ‘pure’
and highly specialised economics, on the one hand, and
‘applied’ economics, on the other, that is also concerned
with the role of institutions and historical context, can
be explained quite easily: It reflects (a) the fact that
Europe does, in fact, have a history that fits a view
according to which path-dependent institutional change
is paramount in the explanation of economic change,
and (b) the fact that Europe has experienced a series of
severe exogenous shocks (wars and revolutions) that
occupied the mind of economists in whose home countries
these took place. In other words, if European economist
appear to be (too ?) obsessed with history and institutional
change, this was not because they choose to
establish a distinct tradition of economic thought, but
simply because historical and institutional change has
always been an essential part of the reality they have
been obliged to explain.
Clearly, my approach has been to cast an eye on the
past. My observations may perhaps contain little information
as to how to approach the future and the looming
convergence of the Northern American with the
European point of view. This would require a thorough
analysis of the ongoing process of European integration
and its politics in the sector of education and research. I
abstain from reading the tea leaves, but I suppose my
exposŽ is also a pladoyer.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
J.A. BLANQUI, 1826: PrŽcis ŽlŽmentaire d’Žconomie politique –
Guillaumin – Paris.
J.A. BLANQUI, 1828:
Industrielle des Principales Nations EuropŽennes –
Guillaumin – Paris.
J.A. BLANQUI., 1843: Ç Sur les dangers du rŽgime prohibitif et
la necessitŽ d’y remŽdier È – Journal des Economistes –
February 1842.
J.A. BLANQUI., 1882: Histoire de l’Žconomie politique en
Europe depuis les anciens jusqu’ˆ nos jours, Guillaumin,
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