Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Economic History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Economic History

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust in the United States today is caught between its pursuit of technical rules designed to define and implement defensible economic goals, and increasing calls for a new antitrust “movement.” The goals of this movement have been variously defined as combating industrial concentration, limiting the economic or political power of large firms, correcting the maldistribution of wealth, control of high profits, increasing wages, or protection of small business. High output and low consumer prices are typically unmentioned.

In the 1960s the great policy historian Richard Hofstadter lamented the passing of the antitrust “movement” as one of the “faded passions of ...


Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2016

Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reviews Jacob S. Hacker's and Paul Pierson's very engaging book, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget what Made America Prosper (2016).


The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2015

The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay is a brief review of Thomas C. Leonard, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (Princeton Univ. Press 2016).


A Theory Without A Movement, A Hope Without A Name: The Future Of Marxism In A Post-Marxist World, Justin Schwartz Jun 2013

A Theory Without A Movement, A Hope Without A Name: The Future Of Marxism In A Post-Marxist World, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Just as Marx's insights into capitalism have been most strikingly vindicated by the rise of neoliberalism and the near-collapse of the world economy, Marxism as social movement has become bereft of support. Is there any point in people who find Marx's analysis useful in clinging to the term "Marxism" - which Marx himself rejected -- at time when self-identified Marxist organizations and societies have collapsed or renounced the identification, and Marxism own working class constituency rejects the term? I set aside bad reasons to give on "Marxism," such as that the theory is purportedly refuted, that its adoption leads necessarily ...


The Marginalist Revolution In Corporate Finance: 1880-1965, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2011

The Marginalist Revolution In Corporate Finance: 1880-1965, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries fundamental changes in economic thought revolutionized the theory of corporate finance, leading to changes in its legal regulation. The changes were massive, and this branch of financial analysis and law became virtually unrecognizable to those who had practiced it earlier. The source of this revision was the marginalist, or neoclassical, revolution in economic thought. The classical theory had seen corporate finance as an historical, relatively self-executing inquiry based on the classical theory of value and administered by common law courts. By contrast, neoclassical value theory was forward looking and as a result ...


Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz Jan 2011

Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

This short nontechnical article reviews the Arrow Impossibility Theorem and its implications for rational democratic decisionmaking. In the 1950s, economist Kenneth J. Arrow proved that no method for producing a unique social choice involving at least three choices and three actors could satisfy four seemingly obvious constraints that are practically constitutive of democratic decisionmaking. Any such method must violate such a constraint and risks leading to disturbingly irrational results such and Condorcet cycling. I explain the theorem in plain, nonmathematical language, and discuss the history, range, and prospects of avoiding what seems like a fundamental theoretical challenge to the possibility ...


Tracking Berle's Footsteps: The Trail Of The Modern Corporation's Law Chapter, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2010

Tracking Berle's Footsteps: The Trail Of The Modern Corporation's Law Chapter, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Neo-Brandeisianism And The New Deal: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., William O. Douglas, And The Problem Of Corporate Finance In The 1930s, Jessica Wang Jan 2010

Neo-Brandeisianism And The New Deal: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., William O. Douglas, And The Problem Of Corporate Finance In The 1930s, Jessica Wang

Seattle University Law Review

This essay revisits Adolf A. Berle, Jr. and The Modern Corporation and Private Property by focusing on the triangle of Berle, Louis D. Brandeis, and William O. Douglas in order to examine some of the underlying assumptions about law, economics, and the nature of modern society behind securities regulation and corporate finance in the 1930s. I explore Douglas and Berle’s academic and political relationship, the conceptual underpinnings of Brandeis, Berle, and Douglas’s critiques of modern finance, and the ways in which the two younger men—Berle and Douglas—ultimately departed from their role model, Brandeis.


Neoclassicism And The Separation Of Ownership And Control, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

Neoclassicism And The Separation Of Ownership And Control, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

"Separation of ownership and control" is a phrase whose history will forever be associated with Adolf A. Berle and Gardiner C. Means' The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932), as well as with Institutionalist economics, Legal Realism, and the New Deal. Within that milieu the large publicly held business corporation became identified with excessive managerial power at the expense of stockholders, social irresponsibility, and internal inefficiency. Neoclassical economists both then and ever since have generally been critical, both of the historical facts that Berle and Means purported to describe and of the conclusions that they drew. In fact, however, within ...


Legacy Of The Clinton Bubble, Timothy Canova Jan 2008

Legacy Of The Clinton Bubble, Timothy Canova

Law Faculty News Articles, Editorials, and Blogs

This article looks at the economy following the Clinton administration period in the White House.


Pari Passu And A Distressed Sovereign's Rational Choices, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Pari Passu And A Distressed Sovereign's Rational Choices, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Knowledge About Welfare: Legal Realism And The Separation Of Law And Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2000

Knowledge About Welfare: Legal Realism And The Separation Of Law And Economics, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The welfare state could not function without judgments about how well off its citizens are. For example, governments devise progressive income taxes, which are designed to capture more wealth from the well off and less from the impecunious. These policies presume an ability to take a manageable amount of information about an individual's income or assets and make judgments about her welfare. In fact, people do this all the time, mostly without thinking about the methodological problems involved.

The superficial casualness of our daily observations about welfare belies the state of the economic science of welfare measurement. Economists have ...


Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz Jan 1997

Relativism, Reflective Equilibrium, And Justice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

THIS PAPER IS THE CO-WINNER OF THE FRED BERGER PRIZE IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW FOR THE 1999 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE BEST PUBLISHED PAPER IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS.

The conflict between liberal legal theory and critical legal studies (CLS) is often framed as a matter of whether there is a theory of justice that the law should embody which all rational people could or must accept. In a divided society, the CLS critique of this view is overwhelming: there is no such justice that can command universal assent. But the liberal critique of CLS, that it degenerates into ...


What's Wrong With Exploitation?, Justin Schwartz Jan 1995

What's Wrong With Exploitation?, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Abstract: Marx thinks that capitalism is exploitative, and that is a major basis for his objections to it. But what's wrong with exploitation, as Marx sees it? (The paper is exegetical in character: my object is to understand what Marx believed,) The received view, held by Norman Geras, G.A. Cohen, and others, is that Marx thought that capitalism was unjust, because in the crudest sense, capitalists robbed labor of property that was rightfully the workers' because the workers and not the capitalists produced it. This view depends on a Labor Theory of Property (LTP), that property rights are ...


The Paradox Of Ideology, Justin Schwartz Jan 1993

The Paradox Of Ideology, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

A standard problem with the objectivity of social scientific theory in particular is that it is either self-referential, in which case it seems to undermine itself as ideology, or self-excepting, which seem pragmatically self-refuting. Using the example of Marx and his theory of ideology, I show how self-referential theories that include themselves in their scope of explanation can be objective. Ideology may be roughly defined as belief distorted by class interest. I show how Marx thought that natural science was informed by class interest but not therefore necessarily ideology. Capitalists have an interest in understanding the natural world (to a ...


Functional Explanation And Metaphysical Individualism, Justin Schwartz Jan 1993

Functional Explanation And Metaphysical Individualism, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

A number of (present or former) analytical Marxists, such as Jon Elster, have argued that functional explanation has almost no place in the social sciences. (Although the discussion is framed in terms of a debate among analytical Marxists, the point is quite general, and Marxism is used for illustrative purposes.) Functional explanation accounts for what is to be explained by reference to its function; thus, sighted organism have eyes because eyes enable them to see. Elster and other critics of functional explanation argue that this pattern of explanation is inconsistent with "methodological individualism," the idea, as they understand it, that ...


The First Great Law & Economics Movement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 1990

The First Great Law & Economics Movement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Beginning in the 1880s American economists turned their attention to the law in a way unprecedented in American thought. Some legal academics in turn incorporated economics into their thinking about the law. Whether their output or its impact were great enough to warrant calling their efforts a law and economics "movement" is worth debating. This essay argues that there was such a movement.

Four things account for the increasing interest in law and economics at the turn of the century: (1) the widespread application of evolutionary models to the development of both law and economic theory; (2) the influence of ...