|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Political economy article.
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- 1 A Note on Keeping the Discussion organized
- 2 Definition of the term Political Economy
- 3 Game Theory
- 4 Goal of political economy is erroneous
- 5 Consumption and Distribution
- 6 Lack of sources and neutral attribution
- 7 Labour theory of value attribution
- 8 Smith a 'chairman'?
- 9 a mistake in the dates in the etymology section
- 10 no references? and add fragmentation theory
- 11 True Political Economy
- 12 Intro Sentence
- 13 Dr. Gawande's comment on this article
- 14 Dr. Roemer's comment on this article
- 15 Dr. Perotti's comment on this article
A Note on Keeping the Discussion organized
I've cleaned up the discussion page to keep the conversation more organized and readable. The article itself suffers from a lack of readability; perhaps organizing the talk page will enable better discussion and a better article. Please follow Wikipedia standards, namely Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines and Wikipedia:Talk page layout. This means a threaded discussion Help:Using talk pages#Indentation and signing your comments (Wikipedia:Signatures). Dpetley (talk) 04:24, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Definition of the term Political Economy
Newberry reverted my work with no explanation here, but suggested that the labor theory of value comes later than political economy. That is not true. Locke first developed the labor theory of value and it was an important element of political economy in its early years. By the way, I did not write the sentence Newberry objects to -- I was merely reinserting a sentence someone else wrote, that Newberry had deleted. I made other changes that Newberrry reverted, even though he did not object to them. Newberry instead opens with a definition of "economy" from Rousseau, and there are three problems with this: first, Rousseau was not a political economist; second, you do not need to cite Rousseau on the etymology of economy, all you need is a dictionary; third, "economy" is not "political economy" and the etymology does not in any way help us understand what political economy was or is. Slrubenstein
- Why the original use of the term is primary First - political economy has a continuous history under that name, a number of important journals, founded before "economics" caught on, still are termed "Political Economy" such as the journal of political economy which is fairly straightforward economics. The term is used in a variety of ways, and yes, everyone wants to "own" it. However, the one thing all of them have in common is the root of coming from the 19th century discipline, "political economy". Stirling Newberry 12:05, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Confusion on what Political Economy "is"
"There are several advantages inherent in the broader scope offered by studying political economy. First, by taking full advantage of the best techniques from economics and political science, resulting conclusions can be more indepth and complete. Second, focusing in on only one subject disregards valuable insights from the other areas which may lead to conclusions that are biased, or incomplete." I removed this part for the following reasons: The idea that combining techniques and insights from various scientific disciplines would lead to more 'complete' or less biased science is not specific to political science. Furthermore to my knowledge it is not a generally accepted notion and would require some evidence to back it up.
"Societies produce more than isolated individuals, and labour with the aid of capital produces more than labour alone. Societies also generate more waste, and capital makes demands for investment and organization. The first can be referred to as the social surplus and capital surplus respectively, and the second as social costs and capital requirements." <-- this is a bit unclear if you ask me, I'm not sure I understand it :P So, what exactly are "Social surplus" and "Capital surplus"? It's important to make those clear in the article, since the following sections makes extensive references to them.
- Here's how I parse it:
- But I don't know if this is right. If so, somebody who knows that it's correct should be able to quickly revise this. John Elder 18:35, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
- I've read the article twice. Why? Because my son is a Political Economy major and I want to know what that is. I'll be working with one of his profs on some projects, and the prof got his PhD in Political Economy. Having read and reread the WP article, I feel no less ignorant than I did before. Perhaps I should corral them into contributing. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for all of you putting labor into this article, even though it seems to have a healthy amount of dispute going on. Here's what I think would be helpful:
- A definition of political economy as used in current academics. It seems that there might be several of these. Perhaps a listing of some major universities with PE majors/departments would be useful, along with (fair use) citation of their definitions.
- Examples of its use in current literature, with appropriate citations and examples illustrating the breadth of use.
- The historical usage - which seems fascinating. And let's avoid the "Marxism is(n't) discredited debate." The 20th Century showcased multiple interpretations (and applications) of Marxism. Their failures may or may not discredit Marxism, but that's a debate for a different article. It would be helpful to see a table comparing Marxist and some non-/pre-Marxist approaches to PE. But it makes no more sense to speak of Marxism (in this venue) as discredited than it does to speak of feudalism as discredited. John Elder 18:30, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Enchanter, if you don't understand something do not delete it -- explain what you don't understand so others can try to improve the article by making it clearer. Don't delete relevant conteent. Slrubenstein
- I don't understand why this sentence , "Within economics the term is more closely associated with game theory.". More closely associated with game theory than what? Who associates political economy with game theory? Political economy, as described in the rest of the article, has no obvious connection with game theory whatsoever - certainly no more than mainstream economics. As far as I'm aware, game theory is used no more by people who describe what they do as "political economy" than those who describe what they do as "economics". Enchanter
I agree with you about the grammar (I don't think I wrote the sentence). But when I was in grad. school I took a course on political economy that was virtually all game-theory. I have talked to others (My own discipline does not use game theory with, or as political economy) and they tell me that it is common in some disciplines to use "political economy" to refer to a body of knowledge that depends on game theory. Slrubenstein
- I've never heard that before, and I don't think it's a mainstream view. I would be interested in references to works which describe political economy as mainly being based on game theory, because I certainly have never seen any. Game theory is well established in economics, and it would be just as possible to take a graduate course in economics that emphasised game theory.
- More generally, I think this article still has many serious deficiencies - mainly that it describes non-mainstream views without attributing them. It starts off with a marxist style definition of political economy as the study of "relations of production". It completely skates over the common use of political economy as covering more-or-less the same field of study as economics, despite this being the view taken by Britannica, Encarta, the New Palgrave, and academic course titles and journals that are too numerous to mention. It's full of errors, starting in the second sentence which contrasts political economy with the ideas of the physiocrats, despite it having been the physiocrats who first used the term. And the bulk of the article is a fairly confused presentation of Marxist influenced economics, without making it properly clear what schools of though do and don't hold these views, and without making it clear that these are not generally the views of mainstream economists. Enchanter
I happen to agree with your second comment. In anthropology and sociology "political economy" is indeed identified with Marxism, but not in other disciplines. If you care to look at the history, I think much of what you refer to was added by Stirling Newberry but I may be wrong -- if I am right maybe he can respond to your comment ... Slrubenstein
- Everyone may already know this but... Marxism is recognized as a significant branch in political economy (how significant is a good question, especially in our 21st century). It is obviously widely discredited in policy and business circles and you will most likely hear about it only in very technical and/or academic work. I agree, this article leans too far towards Marxism (and doesn't seem to realize it?). The first step I would take is to identify some of the most influential schools in political economy (neo-classical, Marxist, and something like Austrian School come to mind).
- Game theory is a popular synthetic branch of mathematics and economics for modeling. It's pretty effective at simplification, which makes it great for teaching and explaining because it allows conceptualization and quantification to work together. For example, comparative advantage is pretty clear with a matrix. But this is not the majority of economics, only one perspective. The techniques you use to model and analyze models need not be game theory. Now, I would imagine many newer analytic theories and even some old ones have been coopted under the label "game theory", but that's another issue.
- Game theory is a popular synthetic branch of mathematics and economics for modeling. It may be used as a way of modeling economic behavior, but it is more purely mathematics and/or logic (depending on how you taxonomize things), which is then applied to economics, psychology, sociology, politics, and many other fields. Game theory qua game theory antedates its economic applications. Van Neuman and Morgenstern's germinal publication did examine economics, but that was an application of the mathematics. According to the WP article on game theory, it was first used to describe a card playing strategy in the 18th Century. John Elder 18:14, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
- As far as the term "political economy", I have always associated it with the fact that organization inherently creates, sustains, and influences exchange via a market. Thus, the political organization of the world *contributes* to the creation, maintenance, and happenings of the market. The assumption here is that rational choice dictates a modicum of organization, and that choice of organization is political-economic. --Vector4F 05:25, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
Goal of political economy is erroneous
The first paragraph under the heading Political Economy->Centeral concepts->exchange is fine. The second paragraph is not fine. If nothing else the link behind "political capital" was busted in that it pointed to the definition of capital cities. I have changed it to point to "law_and_economics" (which is a little bit better). But that does not actually fix what is wrong here. Perhaps the "announcement" of the goal of political economy (or THE economy) should be elswhere in the overall article and that might help. Even so, I see no support for the notion that the creation of money is the goal of exchange or economic activity. Even mercantilism (the hoarding of gold) was abandoned by Smith and Ricardo. This paragraph needs a lot of work and/or discussion. A statement of overall goal needs to be moved to some other (I suggest more prominent) place in the article. The definition of money and capital as two different things is IMHO important. You may object to what I have done, but IMHO SOMETHING needs to be done with ths paragraph. It was simply WRONG.
- Do you mean that it is an incorrect account of money and capital?
- Ricardo and others have said that it is OK to refer to money as capital and to refer to _real_ capital (tools, machinery, etc) as capital but not in the same breath. Further, the creation of fiat money with no tie back to gold or anything else now makes the use of the word capital in reference to money only a financial reality and not an economic reality. Or do you mean that it misrepresents what political economists have claimed? Long ago in the land of nod there may have been such claims. Not now.
- The first criticism is irrelevant, the second is very relevant. Remember that this is an article about "Political Economy." We should provide an accurate account of different forms of "political economy" and we can include critiques of "political economy" but the crucial thing is to represent what political economists have claimed accurately, whether we agree with such claims or not. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:54, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
- It isn't a question of ME agreeing about something some dead guy had a very decent right to assert at the time. But MONEY is not what it was and it most certainly is NOT capital in the classical sense. Adam Smith (I think it was Smith) argued against Mercantilism and was for free trade. If memory serves Ricardo was the "comparative advantage" man. The notion that creating big piles of gold was the objective of political economy MAY have been minimally correct when the gold was used to purchase assets of other nation states. Money in the USA is created when the government deficit spends and when banks make loans. There is simply NO reason to see the expansion of the money supply as an OBJECTIVE of any kind. The money supply is perfectly elastic and has been since 1973. It is probably too elastic. What would Stiglitz say about it in the here and now? I don't know.... But he is a political economist as opposed to a microeconomics person i.e. an "economist". Seems he is interested in reducing poverty.
- http://GreaterVoice.org/econ/quotes/Political_Economy.php --126.96.36.199 05:15, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
- It seems to me that the goal of exchange is to maximize the benefit of division and specialization of land and labour. It might be argued that maximizing the benefit of capital development is also a goal, but that is probably overreaching. It seems that for any efficacy, division of labour is utterly dependent upon exchange. The creation and maintenance of generally acceptable minimal "rules of order" is very important to this maximization of benefit evolving from exchange. --188.8.131.52 16:06, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
- It seems to me that these are your views. Some are simply objective reality. But the stuff about exchange is admittedly just an opinion. Please replace it if you have something better (something that can be backed up with a cite). I believe that my "views" are more correct than what I overwrote. If you can cite something to defend what was there then please do so. Else we can just delete.
- Here at Wikipedia it does not matter whether your views are right or wrong — they just do not belong in the article. If you are presenting the view of a political economist or a critic of political economy, and can provide a verifiable source, then by all means incorporate it into the article. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:44, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
- Very well. I will hold you to the same level of "authoritative source". If you can find any support for the stuff that was here before I showed up then please cite it. e.g. If you can find an authoritative source that says the objective of consumption is to create unusable garbage I'll go take the issue up with him.
Consumption and Distribution
Consumption does not have as a goal or an intent the return of goods to a state of waste. And consumption (the realization of utility) does not always create waste. --184.108.40.206 20:18, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
I have cleaned-up the section on Paradigms of Distribution as it was riddled with errors, and displayed an American bias that was not justifiable. I also removed Ayn Rand as she is not a credible author of anything other than cult novels. I also reordered some thinkers into their proper philosophical categories. TrulyTory 21:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Lack of sources and neutral attribution
I'm concerned that this article contains a lot of non-mainstream viewpoints not attributed to the people who hold them, and has nowhere near enough references to ensure verifiability. Many mainstream sources describe "political economy" as nothing more than an alternative term for economics. For example, the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Political Economy has two paragraphs which says no more than that. The current Wikipedia article is completely different; most of it is unsourced and most of it appears to me to be based on views held by certain particular schools of thought (such as Marxism) without identifying who holds those views. There is nothing wrong with including the views of all schools of thought within Wikipedia. However, it is essential that they are attributed correctly, particularly where they relate to views which many would regard as outside the mainstream (such as the view that the whole subject of economics is flawed and misguided and that it needs to be replaced by something better called "political economy".) Enchanter 19:45, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
After doing some more research and reading up on the links given in the article, I'm still unable to find sources that back up the article. For example, there is a whole section on "paradigms of distribution", but I can find no source that used "paradigms of distribution" in the way described here (for example, the phrase only gets 80 or so Google hits, many of which are either Wikipedia mirrors or about totally unrelated subjects). The whole section, and much of the rest of the article, looks like an original essay to me, and I'm beginning to think that it may be better to remove some of the text en masse rather than attempt to source it and clean it up. Enchanter 01:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I've now removed the whole section on "General paradigms of political economy", as I still can't find any sources that talk about "paradigms of political economy" in this way. It looks like original research to me, and needs to be sourced if it is to remain. Enchanter 20:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I've now also removed the section on "Concepts of political economy". Again, this was unsourced and it did not make clear what schools of economic thought held the views described. Most of the substantive content is already dealt with elsewhere in Wikipedia articles on the various economic schools of thought. Enchanter 15:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I've now also removed the "Market" and "Scope" sections, which suffereed from similar problems to the others noted above. Enchanter 23:15, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Political Economists are generally political scientists who have focused on economics. They do tend to look at the political consequences of economic policy, most of the time focusing on the trade deficit. As Mr. Newberry demonstrated, they generally have no clue that a trade deficit also means a capital account surplus...which is in consensus everywhere outside of Political Science. (Someoneelse)
Labour theory of value attribution
The first paragraph of this article attributes the introduction of the labour theory of value to John Locke. However, the Wikilink to LTV in that very sentence, reads:
... the theory has been traced back to Treatise of Taxes, written in 1662 by Sir William Petty.
In fact, Locke is not mentioned anywhere in that article. I will leave it for someone else to fix, since I don't know which, if either, is correct. --Horse Badorties 04:48, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Smith a 'chairman'?
Until October 2007 the article stated that Smith held the chair in moral philosophy at Glasgow. Then it was changed to read that Smith was "Chairman of Moral Philosophy". Someone who holds a chair in a university is not a chairman, they are a professor. A chairman is someone who heads a committee or presides over a meeting. Can we change it back please - unless of course there is some evidence that this usage which sounds so odd today was actually employed at the time? Thanks. Andy Denis (talk) 16:51, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
a mistake in the dates in the etymology section
Hi, I noticed that there's an error in the dates in the etymology section of the articles. The years are supposed to be 17XX and instead its written 19XX. I didn't fix it because I don't know what the right date is in the 1700's so please fix it. thank you Noabeny (talk) 19:56, 8 December 2011 (UTC) Noa
no references? and add fragmentation theory
1) Very few references in this article, particularly the last section which is filled with unsourced definitions of various disciplines.
2) We could add something about the various theories that attempt to explain the origins of or motivations behind the creation of Political Economy/International PE/International Relations. I favour the fragmentation theory or the idea that:
The disciplines (in reverse order of their institutional establishment) of IPE, IR, Political Science and Economics are, arguably, outcomes of the fragmentation of political economy, from at least the marginalist revolution of the 1870s onwards. In this revolution, the socio-political contents of political economy (in particular, its basis in history, class relations and the social production of wealth) was evicted from the new-found discipline of economics, and replaced with assumptions about homo economicus, scarce resources, subjective preference theory and market equilibrium. One of the founders of marginalism argued that ‘the supposed conflict of labour with capital is a delusion. The real conflict is between producers and consumers’ (Jevons, 1887: 98). The prior concerns of political economy were subsequently reincorporated within other emergent academic disciplines (Milonakis and Fine, 2009; Wallerstein, 2001).
Benjamin Selwyn (2014) 'Twenty-first-century International Political Economy: A class-relational perspective' European Journal of International Relations 1–25
True Political Economy
|Read if you wish|
The Political Economy is the area of philosophy whose aim is to explain the role of man in nature, in society, as well as in the new nature created by its actions on the planet.
(Where is the truth?)
The product is a result of the PROCESS.
The ability of commodity to satisfy some need we call QUALITY.
The writer is confused here when he starts the article with the following:
"Political economy was a term used for studying production and trade, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth"
Political economy is a term used for studying production, exchange and distribution of the total social product. In other words, production and trade and their relations with law, custom and government, etc. is the same thing as the distribution of the national income and wealth. These are not separate functions as the phrase 'as well as' implies. I think this opening sentence should be rewritten. What I have is better but still lame. Anyone agree? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 06:36, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Gentlemen, we all agree that there is a problem with the definition of "Political economy", but I do not agree with any of the offered definition, because:
Political economy is part of philosophy whose aim is not "to study" but "to explain", and "to provide the answers" to the questions:
What it is: national wealth, man, manufacturing, product, goods, work, money, exchange, market, price, profit, capital, ownership, power, government, bureaucracy, tax, democracy, freedom, coercion, morality, law, crisis, war, a lie or the truth?
How many more wars and crises need to experience humanity, rather than just yourself answer the question: What are we doing on this planet?
How many more people should be killed until we get rid of utopian questions: Where are we going and where we should go? What should we believe?
The real questions are: "How and why" we go where we're going? What is true and what is false? Why do people lie?
Finally, look at who uses the term Political Economy - philosophers, and who misused the term - "economists", and why - that you can read in a previous article, if you want. Cheers! Vjekoslav Brkic, Osijek.18.104.22.168 (talk) 06:57, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Dr. Gawande's comment on this article
Dr. Gawande has reviewed economy&oldid=718821165 this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:
This is a complex area, and really should be broken down into political economy (domestic) or PE and political economy (international) or IPE. people reading this will learn nothing about PE or IPE. The article is more like an undergraduate survey paper on the idea of PE. What will be informative is the essential content of major contributions to PE (and IPE separately) over the years and how the field has evolved and what the current state of the art is and what the big unanswered questions are.
We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.
Dr. Gawande has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:
- Reference : Gawande, Kishore, 2005. "The structure of lobbying and protection in U.S. agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3722, The World Bank.
Dr. Roemer's comment on this article
Dr. Roemer has reviewed economy&oldid=721220465 this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:
I think this is a fair summary of the main approaches of political economy.
We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.
Dr. Roemer has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:
- Reference : De Donder, Philippe & Roemer, John E, 2013. "An allegory of the political influence of the top 1%," CEPR Discussion Papers 9745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Dr. Perotti's comment on this article
Dr. Perotti has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:
The entry summarizes well some historical background of the theme and offers a good list of reviews on its components in the different disciplines. I added one reference, in general the work referenced is the state of the art (in the economic discipline) on this topic.
We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.
We believe Dr. Perotti has expertise on the topic of this article, since he has published relevant scholarly research:
- Reference : Perotti, Enrico C & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2007. "The Political Origin of Pension Funding," CEPR Discussion Papers 6100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.