The American Journal of Economics and Sociology

The American Journal of Economics and Sociology publishes scholarly essays in the social sciences, with an emphasis on the intersection of sociology and economics. Also included are book reviews and profiles of historical figures.

Articles from Vol. 64, No. 3, July

"Breed out the Unfit and Breed in the Fit": Irving Fisher, Economics, and the Science of Heredity
There is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations. --George Bernard Shaw Not only is it in the end more economical...
Comments on Four Papers on Economics and Human Heterogeneity
Let me begin by saying that I found these papers to be a fascinating set to read. All deal with the issue of "difference": Are all people basically the same and to be treated as of equal worth, or are there important qualitative differences between...
Did Mises Err? Was He a Utilitarian? Reply to Block
I Introduction MISES ERRED TWICE IN THINKING that he had provided a defense of laissez faire based on value-free economics. First, when he discussed a market intervention, he did not realize that his defense made the unwarranted assumption that...
Economists and the Shadow of "The Other" before 1914
Introduction LIKE THEIR COLLEAGUES IN OTHER DISCIPLINES, economists have long struggled with the problem of "The Other," the problematic role in their analyses of those who differ from them in gender, ethnicity, class, or race. Leading economists...
Editor's Introduction
THERE IS A THEMATIC ELEMENT TO THIS JULY ISSUE: This entire issue centers about the utilitarian tradition in economics. Consider Gary Becket's celebrated article "Crime and Punishment" (Becket 1965), in which he offered a framework for efficiently...
Enron, Herding, and the Deterrent Effect of Disclosure of Improprieties
The [visitors'] book [at a tourist destination] had a column for remarks. Reading down the list I saw, "Nice," "Real nice," "Very nice," "Nice." Such eloquence. I turned back to an earlier page. One visitor had misunderstood the intention of the remarks...
Finding Deficiency: On Eugenics, Economics, and Certainty
I Introduction WERE MY COMMENTARY on these thoughtful essays guided solely by their merit, it would give equal space and weight to each. But my interests as an historian of the American South necessarily skew my remarks and, in many instances,...
From Cardinal to Ordinal Utility Theory: Darwin and Differential Capacity for Happiness
I Lionel Robbins Remembers JUST SIX YEARS AFTER his Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science created a stir in economics with its query about the scientific status of interpersonal utility comparisons (Robbins [19321 1935: 136-140),...
How to Be a Value-Free Advocate of Laissez Faire: Ludwig Von Mises's Solution
In a seminal paper in neo-Austrian economics, Murray Rothbard criticized Mises. We analyze Rothbard's argument partly as a means of elucidating Mises's views and argue that Rothbard misinterpreted Mises and quoted him out of context. Rothbard failed...
Protecting Family and Race: The Progressive Case for Regulating Women's Work
I Introduction AMERICAN ECONOMICS BECAME a professional, expert policy discipline during the Progressive Era (roughly 1890-1920), a period that marked, not coincidentally, the beginning of a vastly more expansive state relationship to the economy....
Value Freedom, Laissez Faire, Mises, and Rothbard: A Comment on Professor Gunning
I Introduction ALTHOUOH THERE ARE ELEMENTS of Gunning (2005) with which I shall take issue, I want to begin by enthusiastically welcoming its publication. Gunning discusses the views of Rothbard and Mises on normative and positive economics,...
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