Cowen on H.A. Innis

14 07 2011

Over on the Marginal Revolution blog, Tyler Cowen has posted about Harold Adams Innis, calling him an “underappreciated economist”. Frequent readers of this blog will know that I have posted about Innis before. There is a good short bio of Innis here. Alexander Watson published a full-length bio of Innis in 2006.

Cowen wrote: Most of all, Innis is worried about commodity and resource-based growth.  Five or ten years from now, will Canadians, Australians, and Brazilians be talking about Harold Innis as we do Hyman Minsky?

Cowen is suggesting that the prosperity these three commodity-rich countries are currently enjoying may be short lived. Following the 2008 GFC, many Americans started reading Hyman Minsky again: in the 1980s, Minsky had warned against deregulation and the financialization of US business on the grounds that it would lead to be a bubble. Now Minsky seems prophetic.

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