Bourgeois dignity : why economics can't explain the modern world

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Descripción: xvi, 571 páginas : ilustraciones ; 23 x 15 x 4 cm.

ISBN: 9780226556659

The big economic story of our times is not the Great Recession. It is how China in 1978 and India in 1991 began to assign dignity and liberty to the bourgeoisie, denied for so long. The result was an explosion in economic growth, showing that economic change depends less on foreign trade, investment, imperialism, exchange rates, or other material causes, and much more on what people believe. Or so says Deirdre N. McCloskey in Bourgeois Dignity, a fiercely contrarian history that develops a similar argument about economics in the West. An utterly fascinating sequel to her critically acclaimed book The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity is a feast of intellectual riches from one of our most spirited and ambitious historians and economists.

1. The Modern World Was an Economic Tide, But Did Not Have Economic Causes

2. Liberal Ideas Caused the Innovation

3. And a New Rhetoric Protected the Ideas

4. Many Other Plausible Stories Don't Work Very Well

5.The Correct Story Praises "Capitalism"

6. Modern Growth Was a Factor of at Least Sixteen

7. Increasing Scope, Not Pot-of-Pleasure "Happiness," Is What Mattered

8. And the Poor Won

9. Creative Destruction Can Be Justified Therefore on Utilitarian Grounds

10. British Economists Did Not Recognize the Tide

11. But the Figures Tell

12. Britain's (and Europe's) Lead Was an Episode

13. And Followers Could Leap over Stages

14. The Tide Didn't Happen because of Thrift

15. Capital Fundamentalism Is Wrong

16. A Rise of Creed or of a Protestant Ethic Didn't Happen

17. "Endless" Accumulation Does Not Typify the Modern World

18. Nor Was the Cause Original Accumulation or a Sin of Expropriation

19. Nor Was It Accumulation of Human Capital, Until Lately

20. Transport or Other Domestic Reshufflings Didn't Cause It

21. Nor Geography, nor Natural Resources

22. Not Even Coal

23. Foreign Trade Was Not the Cause, Though World Prices Were a Context

24. And the Logic of Trade-as-an-Engine Is Dubious

25. And Even the Dynamic Effects of Trade Were Small

26. The Effects on Europe of the Slave Trade or British Imperialism Were Smaller Still

27. And Other Exploitations, External or Internal, Were Equally Profitless to Ordinary Europeans

28. It Was Not the Sheer Quickening of Commerce

29. Nor the Struggle over the Spoils

30. Eugenic Materialism Doesn't Work

31. Neo-Darwinism Doesn't Compute

32. And Inheritance Fades

33. Institutions Cannot Be Viewed Merely as Incentive-Providing Constraints

34. And So the Better Institutions, Such as Those Alleged for 1689, Don't Explain

35. And Anyway the Entire Absence of Property Is Not Relevant to the Place or Period

36. And the Chronology of Property and Incentives Has Been Mismeasured

37. And So the Routine of Max U Doesn't Work

38. The Cause Was Not Science

39. But Bourgeois Dignity and Liberty Entwined with the Enlightenment

40. It Was Not Allocation

41. It Was Words

42. Dignity and Liberty for Ordinary People, in Short, Were the Greatest Externalities

43. And the Model Can Be Formalized

44. Opposing the Bourgeoisie Hurts the Poor

45. And the Bourgeois Era Warrants Therefore Not Political or Environmental Pessimism

46. But an Amiable, if Guarded, Optimism.


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