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The Invisible Hand? – How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Invisible Hand?: How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500

Bas van Bavel


The book offers a radical departure from the conventional wisdom of economists and economic historians by showing that factor markets and the economies dominated by them—the market economies—are not modern, but existed at various times in the past. They are not always rising, but after some time they stagnate and decline again. They are not uniform, but consist of very different combinations of institutions embedded in very different societies. They create flexibility and high mobility in the exchange of land, labour, and capital, and initially they generate economic growth, although they also ... More

Keywords: markets, market economies, economic growth, inequality, global history, long-run analysis, capitalism, institutions, economic history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199608133
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608133.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bas van Bavel, author
Professor of "Transitions of Economy and Society", Utrecht University