Chapter 3: Producing pearls of wisdom: a memoir of Mark Blaug's work practice
It was said of Joan Robinson that she produced her works as an oyster produces pearls – out of sheer irritation. Mark often quoted that and identified with it himself, especially in his later years. Another of Mark’s tenets that inspired my choice of title was that once you had settled on the title of an article you were home and dry as to writing it. I have to say, I agree with him (hence my own title!). Moreover, he favoured ‘jazzy’ titles (an adjective he frequently used echoing his New York adolescence), here are a few: ‘A case of emperor’s clothes: Perroux’ theories of economic domination’ Economics through the Looking Glass: The Distorted Perspective of Economics ‘Was there a marginal revolution?’ ‘The German hegemony of location theory: A puzzle in the history of economic thought’ ‘Economic methodology in one easy lesson’ ‘On a severe case of paranoia in the history of economic thought’ ‘Public enemy, no. 1: Unemployment not inflation’ ‘Does the Arts Council know what it is doing?’ ‘Say’s law of markets: What did it mean and why should we care?’ ‘Ugly currents in modern economics’ ‘Henry George: a rebel with a cause’ ‘No history of ideas, please, we’re economists’ . Francois Perroux (les poles de croissance) was the earliest of Mark’s irritants that I remember; Sraffians were the latest. In between he fought a running battle with Sam Hollander on Ricardo, Cambridge UK on capital switching and later on methodology (realism).
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