The Rise of the Market

The Rise of the Market

Critical Essays on the Political Economy of Neo-Liberalism

Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer

The growth of neo-liberalism has been the dominant political force in the past two decades. This volume concentrates on understanding the political economy of neo-liberalism. It focuses on a number of the most critical issues and examines the essence of neo-liberalism, namely, the dominance of the market.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer

Subjects: economics and finance, post-keynesian economics


Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer The past two decades or so have witnessed the coming to dominance of neoliberalism, its influence on economic policy and the promotion of the expansion of the market into new areas of the economy. The essays in this volume, written from the perspective of political economy, address many issues raised by the rise of neo-liberalism. In Chapter 2 Euclid Tsakalotos focuses on the political economy of the expansion of the market. As he notes, sceptics of the market and the use of the market mechanism have, in recent years, been on the defensive: the argument has been put forward and advanced in many areas that markets will bring about significant efficiency gains. Tsakalotos is concerned with what kinds of argument should carry weight in any discussion about the scope of the market. He argues that, in most cases for both proponents and opponents of an expansion of the scope of the market, there are important ethical and political economy issues that need to be engaged with and which are all too often ignored. The use of the market (or market-type processes within the public sector) is often justified along the following lines: expansion of the use of the market will increase efficiency, and then any issues of distribution (of income and so on) – or other ethical considerations – can be dealt with separately with other appropriate policy measures. Indeed, since efficiency gains imply that more preferences are satisfied, the...