Libertarian Media

“Keynes and the First World War”

Libertarian Papers - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:31

Abstract: It is widely believed that John Maynard Keynes wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) to protest the reparations imposed on Germany after the First World War.  The central thesis of this paper is that Britain’s war debt problem, not German reparations, led Keynes to write The Economic Consequences of the Peace.  His main goal at the Paris Peace Conference was to restore Britain’s economic hegemony by solving the war debt problem he helped to create.  We show that Keynes was responsible for many of the most notorious aspects of the reparations section of the Treaty, and he crafted his proposals in light of mercantilist theories designed to keep Germany relatively poor after the war.  His desperate desire to solve Britain’s war debt problem, mixed with his mercantilist ideas, inspired him to write The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

Keywords: John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, First World War, Treaty of Versailles, reparations

JEL Codes: B17, E12, N14

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Categories: Libertarian Media

“Book Review: Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era “

Libertarian Papers - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 14:22

Abstract: Thomas C. Leonard presents an intellectual history of the Progressive Era from the perspective of economists. It is hard to understate the influence this group had in developing Progressive ideas. Leonard brilliantly details how Progressive economists wielded enormous influence not only in spreading ideas about traditional economic concepts, but also ideas and theories that influenced political and civil liberties. For example, the Progressives gave us the social science professor, the scholar-activist, social worker, muckraking journalist, and expert government advisor. All of these reform-vocations, according to Leonard, sought to replace the invisible hand of the market with the visible hand of the administrative state. In short, Leonard’s book is a must-read for everyone remotely interested in political economy.

Keywords: progressivism, race, eugenics, American economics, political economy

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Categories: Libertarian Media

“Book Review: Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era “

Libertarian Papers - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 06:54

Abstract: Thomas C. Leonard presents an intellectual history of the Progressive Era from the perspective of economists. It is hard to understate the influence this group had in developing Progressive ideas. Leonard brilliantly details how Progressive economists wielded enormous influence not only in spreading ideas about traditional economic concepts, but also ideas and theories that influenced political and civil liberties. For example, the Progressives gave us the social science professor, the scholar-activist, social worker, muckraking journalist, and expert government advisor. All of these reform-vocations, according to Leonard, sought to replace the invisible hand of the market with the visible hand of the administrative state. In short, Leonard’s book is a must-read for everyone remotely interested in political economy.

Keywords: progressivism, race, eugenics, American economics, political economy

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“Are Strong States Key to Reducing Violence? A Test of Pinker”

Libertarian Papers - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 04:53

Abstract: This note evaluates the claim of Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature that the advent of strong states led to a decline in violence. I test this claim in the modern context, measuring the effect of the strength of government in lower-income countries on reductions in homicide rates. The strength of government is measured using Polity IV, Worldwide Governance Indicators, and government consumption as a percentage of GDP. The data do not support Pinker’s hypothesis.

Keywords: homicide, political institutions, Steven Pinker

JEL Codes: D74, H11

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Categories: Libertarian Media
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