Bachelor of Commerce University Toronto, 1968. Master of Science University London, 1969. Doctor of Philosophy Harvard University, 1975.
Assistant Professor, Association Professor of Economics, Harvard University, 1975-1980, 1980-1984. Visiting Association Professor of Economics, University Toronto, 1982-1983. Harvard-Newcomen Research Fellow, Graduate School Business Administration, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, since 1984.
Editorial Boards, Review Radical Political Economics, Dollars & Sense, Journal of Economic History, since 1983.
(This book examines the decline of the British economy in ...)
My work on the history and theory of capitalist development is both critical and constructive. It criticises neoclassical orthodoxy for positing that the essential feature of a well-functioning free-enterprise economy is the subordination of firms to market forces. The basis of the critique is the construction of an analysis that combines in-depth case study research with broad historical synthesis to show that a more accurate depiction of a successful capitalist economy is one in which market forces are subordinate to internal organisation.
By placing the firm at the centre of the analysis of the capitalist economy, I have begun to develop an alternative microeconomics that uses theory as a guide to empirical analysis as opposed to the orthodox tendency to regard theory per se as a scientific engine of inquiry. Using this methodological approach, I argue that rigour in economics derives much more from a solid understanding of the economic history that is relevant to a problem than from the construction of ever more sophisticated models that often bear little relation to real-world phenomena. My historical methodology has been influenced greatly by my assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalist development as well as by my interpretation of Alfred Chandler’s institutional analysis of the rise of the modern capitalist enterprise.
I have developed his analysis of the relation between firms and markets by means of detailed historical research on the relative decline of the British cotton industry as well as more general analyses of the influences of the organisation of work and management structures on economic development. With Bernard Elbaum, I have elaborated a broad institutional perspective on the long-run decline of the British economy.