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The Dissemination of Economic Ideas

The Dissemination of Economic Ideas

Edited by Heinz D. Kurz, Tamotsu Nishizawa and Keith Tribe

This highly illuminating book marks a significant stage in our growing understanding of how the development of national traditions of economic thought has been affected by both internal and external factors.

Chapter 13: The Contributions of Two Eminent Japanese Scholars to the Development of Economic Theory: Michio Morishima and Takashi Negishi

Heinz D. Kurz

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought


Heinz D. Kurz 13.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter scrutinizes and compares the contributions of two eminent and internationally renowned Japanese scholars to the history of economic thought: the late Michio Morishima and Takashi Negishi. Both are leading theorists who, however, saw their own analytical work as firmly embedded in the flow of economic ideas of the past three centuries, since the inception of systematic economic thought. They learned from past authors, benefitted from combining some of their ideas in order to create something new, and rejected the view that the history of economic thought is a grave containing the dead ideas of dead people. They rather saw it as a treasure trove, rich with ideas and concepts that still have to be explored, developed and brought to fruition by cross-breeding them with other ideas and concepts.1 The two also referred to each other’s works and commented on the ideas contained therein. They even involved each other in debate and controversy on a number of issues. Michio Morishima is especially known for his innovative work on the multisectoral theory of economic growth and income distribution, generalizing John von Neumann’s model (1945) in order to cover a number of phenomena not dealt with in its original formulation. These include, inter alia, a discussion of different savings propensities out of wages and profits, different forms of technical progress, the turnpike problem, and the role of money, credit and interest in the growth process (see Morishima, 1964, 1969, 1992). Morishima is concerned with developing ‘a...

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