출처: Benjamin H. Mitra-Kahn, “Redefining the Economy: how the ‘economy’ was invented in 1620, and has been redefined ever since,” Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London. September 2011.
자료: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/1276/ (Direct PDF)
Main Contents of the Thesis:
- Chapter 1_ The Emergence of a space for the economy, 1600-1623 (15)
- Chapter 2_ What mercantilism? Mun vs. Political Arithmetick, 1620-1700 (45)
- Chapter 3_ The real 'golden age' of empirics and political arithmetick, 1695-1720 (70)
- Chapter 4_ The credit driven economy of Defor and Walpole, 1720-1742 (97)
- Chapter 5_ Political fragmentation breaks empirical economics, 1740-1780 (121)
- Chapter 6_ A French Alternative to Physiocracy, 1750-1789 (153)
- Chapter 7_ Adam Smith's economy in the long 19th century, 1770-1930 (182)
- Chapter 8_ Keynes convinces Britain to re-define the economy, 1930-1945 (210)
- Chapter 9_ How British GNP conquered the USA, 1920-1950 (236)
- Chapter 10_ The on-going reinvention of the economy: a conclusion (274)
※ 발췌 (excerpts) : ABSTRACT & INTRODUCTION
Gross domestic product has long been criticized as a poor indicator of economic growth. In this thesis I argue that any proposed alternative for GDP cannot effect change, because GDP is not an indicator. Instead GDP is our definition of the economy, which I argue by presenting the history of how we have measured the economy through national accounts. GDP, it turns out, is simply the most recent consensus definition of what the economy is. So this is the history of how we have defined, measured and redefined the economy since its invention in the 1620s.
Using primary sources I argue that the supposedly mercantilst definition of the economy was never policy relevant in the 17th century. The 18th century saw an active empirical debate and the economy was defined by Davenant's civil service, Walpole's Treasury accounts, and eventually scholars, who displaced secular policy advisors in the 1770s. Adam Smith defined an economy that dominated Britain for a century, but he adopted Physiocratic ideas which were rejected by the French government's own economists.
British government offices continued to do empirical work in the 19th century and produced the 'official' statistics used for policy making. Marshall and then Keynes would use these offices to redefine the economy. Keynes convinced Meade, Stone and HM Treasury to redefine the economy and his idea displaced the official American definition, despite loud protestations from Kuznets. So this is a history which tries to challenge our view of the economy, by showing how we have redefined it in the past and indicates how we could do it again.
( ... ) GDP is simply the most recent consensus definition of the economy in a long history of definitions against which policy makers evaluate their impact and economists frame their theories.
I make my argument using history to show that Britain, France and the USA have redefined their economy, and definition of growth, several times over the last 400 years. As it turns out, our definition of the economy tends to change every 50 to 70 years and, because the available history of economics has not focussed on this issue, past definitions and frameworks have been forgotten. This is highlighted in chapter 9 where I argue that the US government avoided armaments investment in 1940 because their official definition of the economy excluded government expenditure.
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