Headlines at Hopkins: news releases from across
the 
university Headlines
@Hopkins
News by Topic: news releases organized by subject News by Topic
News by School: news releases organized by the 
university's 9 schools & divisions News by School
Events Open to the Public (campus-wide) Events Open
to the Public
Blue Jay Sports: Hopkins Athletic Center Blue Jay Sports
Search News Site Search the Site

Contacting the News Staff: directory of university 
press officers Contacting
News Staff
Receive News Via Email (listservs) Receive News
Via Email
Resources for Journalists Resources for Journalists

Virtually Live@Hopkins: audio and video news Virtually
Live@Hopkins
Hopkins in the News: news clips about Hopkins Hopkins in
the News

Faculty Experts: searchable resource organized by 
topic Faculty Experts
Faculty and Administrator Photos Faculty and
Administrator
Photos
Faculty with Homepages Faculty with Homepages

JHUNIVERSE Homepage JHUniverse Homepage
Virtually Live@Hopkins

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 S. Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: (443) 287-9960 | Fax (443) 287-9920

September 23, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Glenn Small
glenn@jhu.edu


Great Transformations
Book Takes a Historical View of Economic Changes

What's next for the economy? After recession and a bear market, what does history say will happen next?

Political Scientist Mark Blyth spent five years examining the boom market times of the 1920s, the subsequent reactions and then, decades later in the 1970s, the counterreactions, which ultimately led to deregulation, the setting free of markets to boom during the 1990s and now to the brink of another bust.

And one thing he learned is that the prescriptions for making economic changes don't often emerge as the most rational or logical solution to problems, but are highly contested struggles of political ideas. He lays out his case in, Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, September 2002).

"Essentially, what I try to argue is that in moments of deep uncertainty, when economic crises hit home very, very hard," said Blyth, "there's no one-to-one diagnosis of, well, here's a bunch of economic theories, here's what's happening, therefore this is what we do. It's very open. It's very contested, since different economic ideas enshrine different distributional outcomes for competing groups. By making a particular diagnosis of a crisis the authoritative one, political entrepreneurs are able to significantly restructure who gets what in the economy. This is what happened in the 1920-1930 period and the 1970-1980 period."

Like the 1920s, when financial scandals preceded the stock market crash, the leaders of business may now get blamed for the economic woes to follow. "And it may not be fair, but we've seen it happen once," said Blyth. "We could be entering a period in which we go from celebrating CEOs as rock stars to castigating them as squanderers of wealth and the despoilers of our future."

"The parallels with the '20s are not exact," Blyth continued. "Capital markets were not as deep. Stock market ownership was not quite as widespread. There weren't 401k plans back then, for example. And perhaps that means that the situation now may, in fact, be more urgent."

Because Americans do not save much any more, and instead run up large personal debts, the United States relies on infusions of foreign investment to keep things moving. With the bookkeeping scandals and the U.S. image as a safe haven for investment tarnished, what happens if foreign capital retreats?

To arrange an interview with Blyth, contact Glenn Small at 410-516-6094. Listen in as Blyth explains his research in a brief audio interview. If you have any trouble listening to this audio, please contact Glenn Small at: glenn@jhu.edu

For information on obtaining review copies of the book, please contact Cambridge University Press

 

Notes

You'll need a RealPlayer to watch or listen to these audio
and video presentations. RealPlayer8 Basic is available for free here.

If you have any problems viewing these presentations or downloading the RealPlayer, please contact Glenn Small at,
glenn@jhu.edu.

[There have been [an error occurred while processing this directive] visitors to this page since 01.12.04.]
 


For more videos about Johns Hopkins University, check out VirtuallyLive@Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
   Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.


Go to Headlines@HopkinsHome Page