The Economic Basis of Peace: Linkages between Economic Growth and International Conflict

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview

Appendix F: On Alternative Economies

In her detailed case studies of the English textile industry over the course of the Industrial Revolution, Maxine Berg explores the sorts of institutional rigidities around which alternative economic systems developed. She argues that invoking the concept of Ricardian comparative advantage (to credit liberal economics with providing the engine of growth in these economies) only explains any transition to MEG tautologically by demonstrating the result. 1 She dismisses any suggestion that these sorts of rigid institutions operated merely--or cleanly and discretely--to create alternative economies able to generate sustained growth. Rather than emerging through human practice and custom, many were established to accomplish some particular ideological or political purpose, or to demonstrate a socioeconomic theory of human behavior. With thinly veiled disapproval of the illiberal politics common in many of her examples, she implies that several common institutions of alternative economies, in particular, actually did much to inhibit the emergence of modern economic growth:

restrictions on capital and entrepreneurship, preferential terms, availability, and conditions of credit imposed by nonmarket criteria;

high and inflexible wage rates enforced by government, organized labor, or communal consensus to nonmarket levels;

artificially low wage rates brought by high population growth and poor quality of the products of unskilled workers; low wages often led to sabotage, embezzlement, shoddy work, and other frauds by workers against employers;

"polarity of master and man" in class-conscious communities in contrast to the socially uniform communities that emerged through modern economic growth;

social divisions that grew parallel with division of labor, restricted socioeconomic mobility, inhibited enterprise, and nurtured antagonism to technical and organizational change;

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The Economic Basis of Peace: Linkages between Economic Growth and International Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Economics and Economic History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 6
  • 2 - Historical Perspectives 9
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - Theoretical Approaches 37
  • Notes 97
  • 4 - An Empirical Approach 107
  • Notes 164
  • 5 - A Quandary and a Conjecture 171
  • Notes 188
  • 6 - What It All Means 193
  • Notes 229
  • Appendix A: On Economic Stagnation 237
  • Notes 238
  • Appendix B: On the Three Traditions 239
  • Notes 240
  • Appendix C: On Long Waves 241
  • Notes 243
  • Appendix D: On Foreign Investment 244
  • Note 245
  • Appendix E: On Division of Labor 246
  • Notes 246
  • Appendix F: On Alternative Economies 248
  • Notes 249
  • Appendix G: On Protoindustrialization 251
  • Notes 252
  • Appendix H: On Confidence Levels 253
  • Note 254
  • Appendix I: On Growth Processes 255
  • Notes 256
  • Appendix J: On Static Models 257
  • Appendix K: On Defense of Realism 259
  • Notes 260
  • Appendix L: On Growth Strategies 261
  • Appendix M: On Dualism and Growth 262
  • Notes 265
  • Appendix N: On Lawlike Regularities 267
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 271
  • Author Index 289
  • Subject Index 293
  • About the Author 305
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