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Theory of Uneven Development

A main purpose of The Other Canon is to develop a Theory of Uneven Development, and with it the tools and policies needed for poor nations and regions to achieve decent living conditions through their own economic activities, rather than as welfare recipients. An important tool for building such a theory is the History of Economic Policy, documenting the policies used by presently rich countries as they went from poverty to wealth. The History of Economic Policy is a discipline that differs significantly from the history of economic thought. A main reason for this difference lies in the large discrepancies between theoretical economics and the policies that have actually been carried out, both historically and presently. To exemplify: we seek to document the actual policies carried out in England rather than what Adam Smith recommended England to do.

Conferences

Documenting the flow of ideas
The greater part of the most influential economics books in history, and their authors, are not mentioned in today's textbooks in the history of economic thought. In fact, these textbooks tend to focus as if economics originated in physiocracy, a tradition that was very short-lived in terms of actual policy influence. The anti-physiocrats, who established the policies that made Europe into a wealthy continent during the decades and centuries to follow, are hardly ever mentioned.
The Kress Collection at Harvard University contains the world's most famous collection of economics books. Its former curator, Kenneth Carpenter, has worked for decades collecting data on the translations of economics books, thus documenting how ideas moved across Europe. The sheer volume of translations is indicated by the fact that only from and into Swedish there were more than 200 translations of economics books before 1850. Kenneth Carpenter has put this material at the disposal of The Other Canon Foundation to be published on the web. He will himself assist in the editing. Carpenter's legendary 'The Economic Bestsellers Before 1850' - out of print for decades already - documents the editions and translations of the 40 economics books that reached the highest number of editions.

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