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Reviving Growth Keynesianism
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Reviving Growth Keynesianism

Author: Robert Manduca and Nic Johnson

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A podcast about economic thought from the mid-20th Century, and why it matters for us today.
24 Episodes
For this episode we talk to Herman Mark Schwartz on a wide range of issues - from biopolitics, industrial policy, and the New Cold War political economy to why "financialization" is a limited analytical frame for recent history. Mark argues that conflict between firms over profits is just as important - if not moreso - than conflict between capital and labor over the consumption share. The shift from midcentury "Fordism" to today's three-tiered economic structure happened as the result of a "Kalecki moment" in the late-1960s and early-1970s: workers, women, and the third world wanted more, and corporate strategy transformed to meet, and rebuff, their challenges.*** LINKS ***You can find his faculty profile here: the articles we discussed today here: here:
Jamie Martin joins us to discuss his new book *The Meddlers: Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance.* After the first World War, the tools  that European empires had used to govern their colonies' economies were applied to Europe itself. To stabilize that respatialization politically, the victorious powers had to invent new institutions - what Martin calls "legitimation machines" - to justify treating European countries like colonies. The new institutions were supposed to legitimize global economic governance, but were castigated as "meddlers" as often as not. We ask him what we would have to do to escape the imperial roots of today's institutions.*** LINKS ***Follow Jamie Martin on twitter @jamiemartin2Faculty page: page: mentioned: more? Check out other interviews Martin has done:
Eric Monnet joins us to discuss his book *Controlling Credit: Central Banking and the Planned Economy in Postwar France, 1948-1973.* Prior to the neoliberalizations of the late 20th century, most central banks in Europe worked very differently than they do today. Interest rates played less of a role than credit controls in a more concentrated, segmented, and statist banking system. Representatives from all across the economy  - farmers, workers, industrialists - sat on important decision making boards that oversaw credit policy "in the general interest." A vision for "nationalizing" credit brought together right-wing Bonapartists, Gaulists, and neo-Simonian planners focused on efficiency with left-wing forces of the popular front focused more on social justice. But starting in the late 1960s, technocratic pressure to liberalize financial markets from economists and the bureaucracy overwhelmed the merely "particular" social interests which were embedded and represented in the French credit system.Andrew Elrod from seven episodes back also joins the team!
For this episode, we talk with Nina Eichacker, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. We discuss her wide ranging work on green industrial policy, the politics of Eurozone monetary policy, and two pre-pandemic books about American socialism.*** LINKS ***Read more of Nina Eichacker's work on her web page: her on twitter: @nina_econ"The Case for More Solyndras""Institutions, Liquidity Preference, and Reserve Asset Holding in the Eurozone Core and Periphery Before and After Crises: Some Stylized Facts""A Political Economy of Fiscal Space: Political Structures, Bond Markets, and Monetary Accommodation of Government Spending Potential at Municipal, National, and International Levels""Can America Truly Turn Socialist?" we did not discuss it, also be sure to check out her NOEMA article with Jason Oakes: "Fight Inflation with Surplus, not Scarcity"
For this episode, Christy Thornton joins us to talk about her book *Revolution in Development.* It tells the story of the revolutionary Mexican state's exclusion from the international financial system in the early 20th century, its new conception of credit and push for multilateral development lending in the interwar period, and its ultimately tragic defense of the Bretton Wood institutions in the postwar period. Along the way she asks us to think about hegemony in the world-system, agency in the global south prior to the much-hyped moment in the 1970s, and Mexico's revolution in development as a cautionary tale about compromise with dominant institutions.Thank you to our intern, Keegan Hill, for helping to edit this episode.*** LINKS ***Christy Thornton's faculty page: *Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy* here:
Expecting Skanda Amarnath

Expecting Skanda Amarnath


For this episode, we talk with Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America. We discuss some of the myths about inflation in the 1970s, the forgotten inflation of early 1950s, how monetary policy really works, and Paul Volcker's stolen valor.Follow Skanda on twitter @IrvingSwisher and Employ America @employamericaRead more about Skanda and EA's work here: more on what we talk about in the show specifically, see:*** OTHER LINKS ***Jeremy Rudd (2021) - "Why Do We Think That Inflation Expectations Matter for Inflation? (And Should We?)," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-062. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.). Capital Controvercy - Powell - "Monetary Policy in a Changing Economy" - Weber - "Could strategic price controls help fight inflation?" - Grain Robbery - and inflation:Employ America - Francisco Fed - Fed -
Eric Helleiner joins us to discuss his fascinating new global history of neo-mercantilist ideas. In addition to the well-known "Listian Intellectual World" there is a whole universe of thinkers who were not derivative of List but did dream of industrialization by way of a protectionist and interventionist state. American Henry Carey, for example, was distinct on a number of dimensions - and more influential around the world. But there were also traditions endogenous to East Asia, which developed and expanded on earlier mercantilist discourses that can be traced back to China's Warring States period or Japan's feudal era. Rather than diffusing through the translation and circulation of a single text - as in the case of Smith or Marx - neo-mercantilist ideas seemed to spontaneously appear anytime the conditions were ripe for it. State forms other than the nation - from diaspora to empire to international institutions to a cosmopolitan world state - were dreamt of in the period before 1939 as possible vehicles for neo-mercantilist policy. Versions left, right, and center show how politically underdetermined it was as a discourse.Note: this episode was recorded prior to the invasion of Ukraine.*** LINKS ***Eric Helleiner's faculty page:*The Neomercantilists: A Global Intellectual History**Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order* refresher on the original mercantilism Pincus, Forum: Rethinking Mercantilism List Carey Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures" excerpts Perry Yat-sen Schumacher von Schmoller Manoilescu Garvey Prebisch
For this episode, we spoke with Charles Postel about his recent book *Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866-1896.* After the Civil War, many social movements in favor of "equality" flourished in the U.S. -- champions of racial, sexual, regional, and economic equality pressed their case like never before. Organizations like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Knights of Labor mobilized women and workers on a massive scale, while the Grange - a project initiated by federal bureaucrats from D.C. - assembled farmers into the largest and most coherent organ for class-interest in the country. Each had to face up to the practical dilemmas of pursuing national political power in an uneven and divided country.****** LINKS *******The Populist Vision* -*Equality: An American Dilemma* -"If They Repeal the Progressive Era, Should We Care?" -*** REFRESHERS ***The Grange -'s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Willard - of Labor - Powderly - Exclusion Act - Acts - Ellen Watkins Harper - Cady Stanton - George - Piketty - Capital in the Twenty-First Century - Thomas Fortune - Donnelly - Omaha Platform -*** HISTORIOGRAPHY MENTIONED ***David Montgomery - Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872 - Johnson - The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States - Cantrell - The People’s Revolt - Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism -
Amy Offner joins us to discuss the contradictions of New Deal liberalism, Colombian developmental statism, and the transnational flow of ideas. There are more continuities between the midcentury moment and today than many realize, suggesting that perhaps the worst aspects of today's neoliberalism are in fact more enduring features of capitalism.*** LINKS ***Professor Offner's faculty page: C. Offner - Sorting out the Mixed Economy Gabriel Valdes - Pinochet's Economists: The Chicago School of Economics in Chile Babb - Managing Mexico: Economists from Nationalism to Neoliberalism Tinsman - Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States
What's the responsible thing to do if inflation starts to rise? This week we talk with Andrew Elrod, who recently completed a dissertation on the history of wage and price controls in America between 1940 and 1980 at UC Santa Barbara. It turns out that mainstream American history offers a number of options for dealing with accelerating prices; monetary policy doesn't have to be the only game in town."When my new theory has been duly assimilated and mixed with the politics and feelings and passions, I can't predict what the final upshot will be in its effect on action and affairs. The task of keeping efficiency wages reasonably stable... is a political rather than economic problem. I do not doubt that a serious problem will arise as to how wages are to be restrained when we have a combination of collective bargaining and full employment. But I am not sure how much light the analytical method can throw on this essentially political problem." - JMK****** LINKS ******Follow Andrew on twitter: @andrewelrodCheck out more of his writing here: the articles we discussed today here:*** MENTIONED ***Mark Erlich - Weil - Fissured Workplace - J. Matusow - The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s -
This week we spoke with John Shovlin about his new book on capitalist international relations between France and Britain during the "second Hundred Years War." Its well-known that uneven commercial development provoked conflict in early modern Europe, as great powers that lagged behind fought violently to catch up. What's less well-known is that, as Shovlin shows, the same mercantilist rivalries could also provoke the opposite responses: free trade and peace projects. We ask him about the notorious John Law episode in France, hegemony and empire as master concepts for narrating international history, and the problem of protection costs for global capitalism.*** LINKS***Check out John's personal website here: the book: familiar with the early modern period? The following might be worth skimming:
This week we've brought you a double feature! First we talk to Luke Petach about his article on "Spatial Keynesianism." Macroeconomic policy was, at its inception, methodologically nationalist, and Keynesian policies fostered income convergence all across the US as poor regions caught up to wealthier ones. We talk about how that worked and why it ended.Then we bring on his co-author and former adviser, Daniele Tavani to talk about the post-Keynesian tradition, its differences with the Marxian economic tradition, and how they might be brought together again under the rubric of secular stagnation. Along the way we discuss Italy's unique place in the post-Keynesian tradition, and Piketty's contribution to the profession.The first ep ends and the second picks up @55:25.*** LINKS ***Follow Luke on twitter @LPetachRead "Spatial Keynesian policy and the decline of regional income convergence in the USA" here: "Income shares, secular stagnation and the long-run distribution of wealth" here: "Aggregate Demand Externalities, Income Distribution, and Wealth Inequality" here: more of Luke's papers here: Daniele's work here: papers mentioned: Ganesh Sitaraman, Morgan Ricks & Christopher Serkin, "Regulation and the Geography of Inequality", "How National Income Inequality in the United States Contributes to Economic Disparities Between Regions", "The Nationalization of Proposition 13,", "The Case for Regional Policies,"'s law, and Steinsson, "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from US Regions"
This week we spoke with Zach Carter about his award-winning book *The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes.*  Its our most comprehensive episode yet on the Keynesian Revolution, then and now. We ask Zach about the role of Enlightenment liberalism, art, love, journalism and war in the life and times of JMK, and the narrowing of Keynesianism's horizons in the later half of the twentieth century.*** LINKS ***Follow Zach on twitter @zachdcarterFind more on the book and his writing at:
This week we talked to David Stein about his dissertation, "Fearing Inflation, Inflating Fears" and the centrality of full employment to the black freedom struggle. From the 1930s through the 1970s, the fight for a job went hand in hand with the fight for freedom and equality. The proposal for a Job Guarantee, it turns out, has multiple origins - one was in the fight against Jim Crow monetary policy. Cold War complications  ultimately undid the movement for a time, but its coming back today. *** LINKS ***Follow David on Twitter @DavidpSteinRead David's work at the Boston Review, "Why Coretta Scott King Fought For a Job Guarantee" here: And find the rest of his academic publications here: mentioned: - Who Makes Cents podcast (now run by Jessica Ann Levy), Landon Storrs, *The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left* Destin Jenkins on white fraternity, Cedric Robinson, Kristoffer Smemo and Samir Sonti, and Gabriel Winant on the 1958 recession,
For this episode, we stood back to take stock of some Robert's own research on inequality in its all its complexity. Its a multi-dimensional issue, with generational, spatial, racial, national, and macroeconomic processes all intersecting to generate the world we see today.Check out more of his stuff here: follow him on twitter:
Nick Foster is a graduate student in history at the University of Chicago, writing a dissertation on the Reagan Revolution and the cultural history of finance capitalism. We discuss why Reagan embraced the biggest farm bill in US history, and speculate about the historiography of capitalist agriculture.When Nick's paper is published we'll edit the show notes to provide a link and tweet about it so you can read it too. In the meantime, all enthusiastic fan mail can be directed to:
This week we talked to Jon Levy, Professor of US History at the University of Chicago, about his forthcoming book *Ages of American Capitalism.* We asked him what "capitalism" even is, what makes one age different from another, and what Keynes can tell us about its past and possible futures.*** LINKS ***Pre-order the book from Penguin: on Amazon: about Jon's definition of "capital as process" here: check out his paper "Primal Capital" on Freudo-Keynesianism (which, as it turns out, is just Keynesianism):
Today's guest is Lizabeth Cohen, the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies in the History Department at Harvard University. We discuss her classic work A Consumers Republic: The Politics of Consumption in Postwar America, which argues that in post-war America, the act of consuming was seen as a virtuous contribution to the public good. But the model had inherent limits in the race, gender, and class dynamics of the era, especially visible in housing, suburbanization, and the market segmentation of advertising, which ultimately limited that model of economic culture by the 1970s. We also briefly touch on her most recent book, Saving America’s Cities, which re-examines postwar urban development corporations.*** LINKS ***Cohen's faculty profile: her classic book here: develop an appreciation for her most recent work here:
Today's guest is Ariel Ron, the Glenn M. Linden Assistant Professor of the U.S. Civil War Era History at Southern Methodist University. We discuss his new book Grassroots Leviathan, which argues that agrarian reform movement can give us a new perspective on the Civil War.  We ask him what the democratic developmentalism of antebellum period can tell us about the American state building tradition, and what it might mean for our own troubled times.***LINKS***Ron on twitter: @arielronidRon's faculty profile: Leviathan Amazon:
Today's guest is Kaleb Nygaard, host of the Bankster podcast - the best show out there for learning about central bank history - as well as a researcher at the Yale Program on Financial Stability's New Bagehot Project. We talk to him about the new playbook for fighting systemic risk, his experience as a public educator, and a mutual hero of ours: Marriner Eccles.***LINKS***Kaleb on twitter: @KalebNygaardThe Centralverse: Sahm, "Economics is a disgrace": Reserve's historical self-presentation: Metrick and Timothy Geithner Course on the GFC:
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