Economic Papers 1941–88 by Josef Steindl

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By Josef Steindl

Those are the gathered essays of Josef Steindl, the writer of "Maturity and Stagnation in American Capitalism". They include a lifetime's paintings and infrequently pass a great deal opposed to the current mainstream of financial concept. a few papers were rewritten, one elevated and are thoroughly new. the subjects coated comprise macroeconomics, fiscal coverage, the enterprise, know-how and stochastic strategies. the writer is inspired by way of Marx, Keynes and Kalecki but in addition has many unique principles of his personal.

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Of this representative firm we leam that it is neither a 'young,' growing firm, nor a decaying firm; that it is not a firm of unusually big size, or with unusual advantages; that the 'normal' economies which can be got in this industry (with the given size of the industry) are open to firms of such a representative size; and that the representative firm tends to increase in size as the industry expands. Bearing in mind all that Marshall said about the representative firm, we may deduce that he thought of a balance, existing in any industry of given size, between the economies of large scale and the difficulties of expanding the individual firm's market.

The requirement of an initial capital is recognised, but it is nevertheless believed that the rise from unpropertied worker to small entrepreneur and from that to big entrepreneur is possible and plays an important role (pp. 30S-lO). Ability always finds the necessary capital, whereas in ability loses it. In addition, no limit to the amount of borrowing is assumed. We hear of an efficient entrepreneur being able to 'borrow in one way or another almost any amount that he may need' (p. 311). 'There is thus, on, the whole, a broad movement from below upwards' (p.

In a more realistic model this assumption could be dropped as far as small entrepreneurs are concemed, without causing substantial change in the conclusions. This they will do by realising their differential advantage in the form of reduced risk (through reduction of indebtedness) rather than increased profit. Big entrepreneurial capital in Britain, for example, in the era of Imperialism, preferred overseas investment in 'new' countries where particularly great differential advantages could be secured, to horne investment: with the result that concentration in British industries remained much behind that in other countries.

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