Randy:  You are right that I did inadvertently leave Marx and Keynes out.  Perhaps I was typing too fast or maybe my awareness that Marx was a classical economist in so many ways and Keynes a good Marshallian overrode the reality that both did move far enough away from their home camps to warrant recognition of being founders of “schools.”  But as you are well aware the story is complicated because a lot of 20th century to say nothing of 21st century Marxists are far removed from Marx and ditto for the many varieties of Keynesians and Keynes.

 

I agree that Dillard and certainly Wesley Mitchell and M. Copeland shared much with Minsky and Davidson and a lot of what they have all said can be found in Veblen.  Where Commons and Veblen and Mitchell and Copeland and Dillard differed from Keynes was in understanding that money (=credit) use was as much part of an evolving economy as were other aspects (business organization, employment practices and etc.).  I doubt that Keynes would have disagreed but he was, and rightly so, focused on money and macroeconomic consequences.  This focus was entirely understandable but it does make it difficult, as I see it, to determine to what extent he might have shared the explicit rejection of Marshall (of PRINCIPLES though not of INDUSTRY AND TRADE).  This lack of explicit rejection or, better put, of acceptance of a different ontological foundation was one of the things that made it all too easy for Samuelson to create the infamous neoclassical synthesis and the sad history that is the rest of the story. 

 

And that is why my omission of Keynesian and Marxian from my list of schools may have been more than a slip of mind or typing.  Did either of those two giants of economic thought have ontological foundations that differed from the classical and neoclassical camps from which they inherited the giant problems for which they offered explanations.  I am not going to try to answer that question.

 

Cheers 

 

From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Wray, Randall
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 5:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Are Sustainability and Public Choice schools of thought, per se?

 

Anne: very nicely stated.

You left out Marx and Keynes. In both cases there are "followers" who "marry" each with "classical" or "neoclassical" (depending on terminology) to get bastardized approaches. But some stay true to the foundations. Post Keynesians in the Minsky, Davidson lines stay true--they are not really a separate school, but had to choose a terminology to distinguish themselves from the bastards.

For me it is very hard to distinguish Institutional MACROECONOMICS from the Keynes/Post Keynesian school. I think followers of Dillard and Foster would say that their macroeconomics is indeed Keynes's. And followers of the Minsky line (especially) and the Davidson line (maybe?) would also say they are in the Institutional tradition. (Recall Keynes's statement about Commons). And both of these subgroups find their foundations in the Marx, Veblen, Keynes approach to the monetary theory of production (or, theory of business enterprise). 

 

L. Randall Wray

Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute

Papers: www.levyinstitute.org/publications/?auth=287

Co-editor Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
ISSN 0160-3477 (Print), 1557-7821 (Online)
www.tandfonline.com/toc/mpke20/current
http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/mpke20/current

New Book: Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the work of a maverick economist, Princeton University Press http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10575.html

 

New Book: Modern Money Theory: a primer on macroeconomics for sovereign monetary systems, Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/modern-money-theory-l-randall-wray/?isb=9781137539908 

 

Please make note of my new email address as I will be transitioning all email to:

 


From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Mayhew, Anne <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 2:51 PM
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Subject: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Are Sustainability and Public Choice schools of thought, per se?

 

John and all:  What constitutes a school is an old discussion among historians of thought and there is no answer acceptable to all. That said, I find it useful to distinguish among those approaches that cohere around a set of shared preconceptions about the nature of reality and of economies  Institutionalist, classical economists, neoclassical economists, Austrians share different preconceptions; to use Tony Lawson’s language their ontological foundations differ sharply.  Approached differently the world of economists is divided into labor economists, development economists, ecological economists, macro-economists,  feminist economists and so on, and practitioners in these fields may use Classical, neoclassical, Institutionalist, Austrian approaches. 

 

To make matters more confusing allegiance to organizations/journals/social groupings  create different groupings so that Social Economists share much with Institutionalists but took their earlier identify from an alliance with Catholic universities and teachings.  And,   Keynesians split during the 1950s and 60s into those who were afraid to abandon the security of neoclassicism (security of employment and from having to doubt too much) and Post Keynesians who emphasized the commonality with Institutionalism that was there in Keynes, namely emphasis on time and evolution.  But Post-Keynesians were a different social group and different journal,  and so on.   The stories to be found in the history of economic thought go on and on but I will not.

 

Instead, I tend to think that it is better to say that Schools of Thought cohere around different ontological foundations while fields of economics cut across the Schools, some more completely than others.

 

--Anne

 

From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Daphne Greenwood
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 2:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Are Sustainability and Public Choice schools of thought, per se?

 

 

 

All,

 

Ecological economics is definitely a school of thought and should be included. It has some overlaps with OIE, as Ric  Holt and I noted in our 2010 JEI article.

Public choice might have overlap with the new institutionalism – at least the adherents of each in my department seem intellectually compatible with each other.

Looking again at your excellent book recently, I was surprised that it did not include social economics. Is the thinking that it is not a separate school of thought.

 

Daphne

 

From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of John Harvey
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 7:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Are Sustainability and Public Choice schools of thought, per se?

 

Dear All,

 

I am working on revisions to my Contending Perspectives in Econ book and one chapter that I originally intended to write was on ecological economics or econ of sustainability. The existing chapters cover Neoclassicism, Marxism, Austrianism, Post Keynesianism, Institutionalism, New Institutionalism, and Feminism.

 

Do you consider ecological econ/sustainability a school of thought , per se along the lines of those others or is it a topic area?

 

Similarly, I have a colleague who uses my book and she's very keen that I add a Public Choice chapter. Same question: school of thought or subject area?

 

Incidentally, she is an Austrian and yet there is no one in the department whose overall philosophy regarding pedagogy and curriculum matches mine more completely. She's a wonderful person. Who would have thought?!

 

John


--

John T. Harvey 
Professor of Economics