Author Archives: pseudoerasmus
Historian Sven Beckert’s widely acclaimed book, Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism, is a good agrarian, business, and labour history of a single commodity. But as economic history it’s not so good.
The “Hobson-Lenin Thesis”: Inequality, Imperialism, and the First World War In a small section in his new book, Branko Milanovic argues that the First World War was ultimately caused by income & wealth inequality within the belligerent countries, resurrecting ideas from John A. … Continue reading
[19 October 2015] Jesús Alfaro of the Autonomous University of Madrid has translated my previous post into Spanish: ¿De dónde vienen las instituciones prosociales?
An elaboration on Ricardo Hausmann’s article “The Education Myth” arguing that education is an overrated tool of economic development. This post also responds to a criticism of Hausmann’s views which appeared at the Spanish group blog Politikon; and also discusses whether developing … Continue reading
Whether markets help cause or exacerbate famines is one of the great questions of political economy. Cormac Ó Gráda’s recent book Eating People is Wrong, and Other Essays on Famine, its Past, and its Future, along with his earlier volume, Famine: A Short … Continue reading
Anachronism and relevance are in tension. Historians (often) rail against the former and (often) pine for the latter. They can easily manage a bit of relevance by intervening in today’s political and economic debates and offering ‘lessons’ from the past — but at high risk of … Continue reading
Did an “invisible blockade” by the United States fatally undermine the Chilean economy under the presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-73)? Did it actually work? Short answer: No.