Promises All the Way Down: A Primer on the Money View

Promises All the Way Down: A Primer on the Money View

This post is part of a symposium on the Methods of Political Economy. It has long been tempting for economists to imagine “the economy” as a giant machine for producing and distributing “value.” Finance, on this view, is just the part of the device that takes the output that is not consumed by end-users (the…

In Praise of Blindspots

In Praise of Blindspots

This post is part of a symposium on the Methods of Political Economy. The introductory essay to this symposium repeats several standard views about neoclassical economics that I think are some combination of dated, inaccurate, or irrelevant. I think what legal scholars (including those who do “economic analysis of the law”) perceive as economics is…

Tracking Extraction

Tracking Extraction

This post is part of a symposium on the Methods of Political Economy. In a recent book, Raj Patel and Jason Moore argue that the genius of capitalism lies in its “violent extractions of extraeconomic life,” and that these extractions require not only technical innovations and market institutions, but also state power, culture, and ideology.…

The Sociology of Markets: an Alternative Political Economy

The Sociology of Markets: an Alternative Political Economy

This post is part of a series on the Methods of Political Economy. For the past 35 years (and certainly before that), scholars across disciplines have offered critiques of neoclassical theory and its variants of political economy. As a result, there is a great deal of theoretical work done on issues of the linkages between states…

Stocking the Toolshed: A Symposium on Methods of Political Economy

Stocking the Toolshed: A Symposium on Methods of Political Economy

This is the introductory post in a series on the Methods of Political Economy. In their Law & Economics textbook, Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen ask: “Why has the economic analysis of law succeeded?” Their answer: “Economics provide[s] a scientific theory to predict the effects of legal sanctions on behavior….This theory surpasses intuition, just as…