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Edited by Gregory M. Randolph, Michael T. Tasto and Robert F. Salvino Jr.

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Gregory M. Randolph

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Edited by Gregory M. Randolph, Michael T. Tasto and Robert F. Salvino Jr.

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Richard M. Salsman

Not until the Enlightenment and the financial revolution in the eighteenth century did sovereigns borrow publicly, regularly, and responsibly. Constitutionalism, the rule of law, ethical acceptance of lending, and more respect for sanctity of contract increased creditors’ willingness to lend. Three centuries of data show that public leverage – the ratio of public debt to GDP – was highest at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. Public leverage since 1980 has increased steadily for many sovereigns, but for most of them leverage is still far below prior peaks. The multi-decade rise in public leverage reflects burgeoning welfare states but also coincides with an anomalous decline in public borrowing costs, due mainly to repressive central bank policies.

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Edited by Gregory M. Randolph, Michael T. Tasto and Robert F. Salvino Jr.

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Henrique Schneider

The chapter provides the background on the economics of this book, on the ‘sharing economy’ and how Uber can be assessed as an economic agent. This book understands markets as open-ended undetermined series of exchanges between a potentially unlimited number of agents. These agents engage voluntarily in the different market processes without knowing more than the other agents but judging their own beliefs, preferences and costs subjectively. Agents use the market processes in order to learn about other agents’ beliefs, preferences and costs. Market processes are cooperative actions. Whatever might be labelled the sharing economy relies on these market processes and does not in any way fundamentally change them. The sharing economy is not different from the traditional economy; to the contrary, it applies and broadens the application of market processes and individual actions. However, the role that technology plays is important. With the development of online networking, e- and online payment methods as well as individual online mobility, many business models gain scale and scope. Technology often makes it possible to diminish costs of participating in a market process, to learn quickly or gather information in a timely manner as well as to scale up some market processes. Uber, in due entrepreneurial spirit, seized this opportunity and turned it into a successful business model.
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Mårten Blix

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Pascal Salin

Studying an international system implies having a definition of a nation, in order to assess to what extent the analysis of an international phenomenon can be different from an analysis which does not take into consideration the existence of nations. This chapter stresses that several definitions of a nation can be given, but what is important is defining a nation from the point of view of monetary problems. By comparison with the traditional definition of a nation in trade theory, a monetary area – or a monetary nation – can be defined as an area of circulation of a currency. The chapter also discusses whether or not a monetary area should coincide, for instance, with a political area.
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Peter Boettke and Patrick Newman

Our contention is that the real opponents of Keynes are the Austrians, who belong to the school of thought that best champions the theory of a self-correcting market economy. The countercyclical policies embraced by Keynesians as well as the Chicago School Monetarists are generally seen as counterproductive. In particular, this chapterprovides critiques of the liquidity trap theory from an Austrian perspective. It is argued that if prices are allowed to freely fall and are not propped up by government intervention, the liquidity trap roadblock poses no genuine threat for the free market economy. Only when prices are rigid and government intervention is pervasive does the phenomenon of a “liquidity trap” and hoarding money result in a stagnant economy.
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Steven Kates