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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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Gunnar L.H. Svendsen and Gert T. Svendsen

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  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

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  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

This chapter explores some issues regarding the scholarly location of what is often described as the Virginia tradition in political economy. While the Virginia tradition originated during the neoclassical period and its widespread use of demonstrable reasoning, the home of the tradition resides in the classical tradition and its grounding in plausible reasoning. While the classical-neoclassical divide is commonly based on the explanation of prices and allocations, this is a sensible classificatory scheme only from within the neoclassical tradition. By contrast, scholarship within the spirit of Virginia political economy is more at home with the classical placement of the institutions of human governance and interaction into the analytical foreground, with prices and allocations being relegated to the background.
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Gunnar L.H. Svendsen and Gert T. Svendsen

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  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

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Gunnar L.H. Svendsen and Gert T. Svendsen

This content is available to you

  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

This content is available to you

  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

This content is available to you

  • New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner