The Fundamental Institutions of Capitalism presents a radical institutional approach to the analysis of capitalism. Ernesto Screpanti puts forward a number of provocative arguments that expose common ground in both neoclassical and Marxist orthodoxies. It will appeal to a broad audience of social scientists including advanced students and professionals with an interest in politics and economics.
"Property and Prophets" is a concise history of the rise and subsequent triumph of capitalism. Focused primarily on England until 1800 and the United States since 1800, the book's economic history is interspersed with the history of ideas that evolved along with the capitalist system.
Pre-Famine Ireland is a byword for market failure and path dependence. Production of flax yarn and linen cloth was highly regulated and coordinated by the market rather than by firms. Contemporary political economists suggested that these institutional features provided evidence of organisational inefficiency. The historical evidence suggests that they were a rational response to transaction and production costs. The Irish case provides a test of the hypotheses that firms emerge to reduce the cost of market transactions. It suggests that institutions other than the firm can modify transaction costs, coordination of production can affect both transaction and production costs, and that agents choose between market and firm coordination given technology and factor prices. Finally, centralisation of production was driven by technology.