Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Albert O. Hirschman (1915-2012)

Albert O. Hirschman had a big impact on my thinking about economics and society. He passed away here in Princeton this past December. Reading the press release from the Institute of Advance Study, I realize that he was not only a brilliant scholar, but a very brave man. 

Most of my blogs about Hirschman have been in Swedish, but here is a link to an English language comment:

The Social Impact of the Great Recession

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Does the Republican implosion leave big business out in the cold?

Thomas B. Edsall has an interesting blog post in the New York Times.

He writes: 

"The slow implosion of the Republican Party — along with the growing strength of a Democratic coalition dominated by low-to-middle-income voters — threatens the power of the corporate establishment and will force big business to find new ways to reassert control of the policy-making process."
“Economists on both the right and left, from Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University to the Times columnist Paul Krugman, are increasingly talking about the detrimental consequences of high concentrations of economic and political power – concentrations that threaten the innovation that is supposed to be what makes unequal outcomes worth the price.
Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T., who wrote the highly regarded book “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” with James A. Robinson of Harvard, argues that concentrations of wealth and market power allow “the already well off and already well organized” to exercise excessive leverage through “lobbying, campaign contributions and otherwise” that distort market processes."