John Bates Clark: the first American marginalist as a social economist

Autori/Curatori: Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini
Anno di pubblicazione: 2018 Fascicolo: 2 Lingua: Italiano
Numero pagine: 21 P. 33-53 Dimensione file: 279 KB
DOI: 10.3280/SPE2018-002002
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We analyze the content of four articles by John Bates Clark published between 1878 and 1887, during his Christian Socialist period in order to show that next to the marginalist Clark and beyond the neoclassical principles outlined in The Distribution of Wealth, the whole Clark’s work is a strongly coherent body, deeply rooted in positions less extreme than the ones held by more reformer-minded economists like Richard T. Ely or John R. Commons containing an array of different contributions to political economy displaying a certain originality and coherence, and enrolling in a thematic environment that today would be broadly defined as social economy. In particular, the main ideas emerging from this selection of papers are his organismic idea of society, the role of moral forces in shaping economic activity, and his promotion of profit sharing and cooperation as better regimes for production and distribution with respect to competition.

  1. Clark A. (1938)(ed.). John Bates Clark. A Memorial, Privately Printed.
  2. Clark J.B. (1878). How to Deal with Communism. The New Englander, 37, 145(July): 533-42.
  3. Clark J.B. (1879). The Nature and Progress of True Socialism. The New Englander, 38, 151(July): 565-81.
  4. Clark J.B. (1880). Spiritual Economics. The New Englander, 39, 156(May): 305-18.
  5. Clark J.B. (1881). The Philosophy of Value. The New Englander, 40, 161(July): 457-70.
  6. Clark J.B. (1886). Review of Richard T. Ely’s The Labor Movement in America. The New Englander and Yale Review, 9, 12(December): 1054-5.
  7. Clark J.B. (1887). Christianity and Modern Economics. The New Englander and Yale Review, 47, 208(July): 50-9.
  8. Clark J.B. (1913). The Minimum Wage. The Atlantic Monthly, 3, 112(September): 289-97.
  9. Clark J.B. (1956[1899]). The Distribution of Wealth, New York, Kelley & Millman, INC.
  10. Clark J.B. (1967[1886]). The Philosophy of Wealth, New York, Augustus M. Kelley Publishers.
  11. Ely R.T. (1886). Report of the Organization of the American economic Association. Publications of the American Economic Association, 1, 1(March): 5-32.
  12. Ely R.T. (1910). The American Economic Association 1885-1909, American Economic Association Quarterly, 3rd series, 11, 1, Papers and Discussions of the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting: Being the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the Association. New York City. December 27-31, 1909 (April): 47-111.
  13. Everett J.R. (1982[1946]). Religion in Economics. A study on John Bates Clark, Richard T. Ely. Simon N. Patten, Philadelphia, Porcupine Press INC.
  14. Gladden W. (1894). Property and Industry Under the Christian Law, Cambridge, Boston Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press.
  15. Kingsley H.C. (1886). Notices of New Books. Professor John B. Clark’s Philosophy of Wealth. The New Englander and Yale Review, 45, 2, 201(December): 1055-6.
  16. Henry J.F. (1982). The Transformation of John Bates Clark: an Essay in Interpretation. History of Political Economy, 14, 2: 166-77.
  17. Henry J.F. (1995). John Bates Clark, The Making of a Neoclassical Economist, London – New York, Mac Millan Press LTD – St. Martin’s Press INC.
  18. Hollander J.H. (1927) (ed.). Economic Essays Contributed in Honor of John Bates Clark, Published on behalf of the American Economic Association, Freeport, New York, Books for Libraries Press INC.
  19. Leonard T.C. (2003). “A Certain Rude Honesty”: John Bates Clark as a Pioneering Neoclassical Economist. History of Political Economy, 35, 3: 521-58.
  20. Marshall A. (1920). Principles of Economics, VIII edition, London, Macmillan and Co.
  21. Maurandi P. (2001). John Bates Clark: un liberista critico del capitalismo, Rome, Carocci editore.
  22. Morgan M.S. (1994). Marketplace Morals and the American Economists: The Case of John Bates Clark. History of Political Economy, 26: 229-52.
  23. Persky J. (2000). The Neoclassical Advent: American Economics at the Dawn of the 20th Century. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14, 1: 95-108.
  24. Prash R. (2000). John Bates Clark’s Defense of Mandatory Arbitration and Minimum Wage Legislation. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 22, 2: 251-63.
  25. Spiegel H.W. (1991). The Growth of Economic Thought, Durham and London, Duke University Press.
  26. Veblen T.B. (1908). On the Nature of Capital: Investment, Intangible Assets, and the Pecuniary Magnate. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 23, 1: 104-36.

  • John Bates Clark's view on the Treaty of Versailles as the origin of both World War II and the idea of a European Union Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini, in HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY 1/2021 pp.131
    DOI: 10.3280/SPE2020-001006

Luciano Messori, Raimondello Orsini, John Bates Clark: the first American marginalist as a social economist in "HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY" 2/2018, pp 33-53, DOI: 10.3280/SPE2018-002002