By Toufic Gaspard

This paintings assesses Lebanon's improvement adventure in the course of 1948-2002, a case examine of laissez-faire functionality over greater than 50 years. The textual content analyzes the powerful financial concern of the mid-1980s and the reconstruction coverage that produced susceptible development and excessive govt indebtedness.

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Additional info for A Political Economy of Lebanon, 1948-2002: The Limits of Laissez-Faire (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia)

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10 In that school’s tradition, market imperfections and uncertainty are taken as given facts rather than circumvented. Agents act with imperfect information and face irreducible uncertainty. Moreover, the market process is a dynamic process of continuous entrepreneurial discovery of new information and opportunities, of learning and competition. Consequently, the 9 10 Goodwin, 1988, p. 145. See Kirzner (1997) for an informative survey on Austrian economics. GASPARD_F3_5-41 11/11/03 11:23 AM Page 11     11 market becomes an open-ended process of rivalry and discovery instead of a static one distinguished by stable equilibria.

76 Moreover, the material progress that comes with capitalist growth is seen as accompanied by frequent economic crises that increase in intensity with the accumulation and centralization of capital. Thus, the material efficiency of capitalism coexists with a tendency to generate waste and instability. Capitalism is also seen to generate a poor working class and an expanding “reserve army of the unemployed”. More specifically, real wages are predicted to fluctuate around a socially accepted minimum, in addition to a growing polarization in incomes between the rich and the poor.

P. 12. GASPARD_F3_5-41 11/11/03 12 11:23 AM Page 12   markets. 14 The example of tradable property rights is an illustration in point. 16 Recently, perhaps unexpectedly, leading figures in the Keynesian NC tradition have advanced views that are associated more with the radical than the traditional wing of Keynesian economics. In a remarkable recent book, Hahn and Solow (1995) offer a systematic critique of new classical macroeconomics, and of pure NC economics in general. Specifically, they show that Keynesian results obtain in a monetary economy once any of the basic assumptions of the pure model is relaxed, and that even very simple alterations in the basic assumptions take the economy onto unstable paths.

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