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A Theory of Economic Systems - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122937804, 9781483265896

A Theory of Economic Systems

1st Edition

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Author: Manuel Gottlieb
Editors: Charles Tilly Edward Shorter
eBook ISBN: 9781483265896
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 27th September 1984
Page Count: 476
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A Theory of Economic Systems is a systematic inquiry into the nature of historical economic systems, their relationships to each other, their peripheral areas, and the ways in which they and their components have evolved over time. Topics covered include modes of production; coordination of resource use; functions of the state in the economy; and the institutions of money and property.

Comprised of nine chapters, this book begins with a brief introduction to the frame of reference; basic definitions of the terms used in economic systems; methodological issues; and the bounds of the inquiry. The next chapters are devoted to modes of production or forms of productive organization. Ten distinct modes of production are identified, with different modes sometimes dominant in different fields of economic activity (agriculture, industry, wholesale trade, urban services, etc.). The way the use of economic resources is coordinated both within and between modes is considered, with particular reference to markets, rationing, and central planning. Subsequent chapters focus on the role of the state and the public economy in economic systems; money and property; the ways in which separate economic systems may be drawn into meaningful multinational gestalts or orders; and problems of system classification. The book concludes by listing eight broad family types of systems into which most, if not all, historically experienced systems may fit.

This monograph should appeal to social scientists in varied fields of specialization such as geography, sociology, economic history, political science, and economics.

Table of Contents


A Note on Background

A Note on References


1. Introduction


The Scope of the Economic



Role of the Noneconomic and Understanding

Primitive and Archaic Systems Excluded

Functions of an Economic System

2. The Mode of Production: Early Forms

Defining the Mode of Production

Village Community Mode

Simple Commodity Producer Mode

Slave Mode

Feudal Mode

Peon Mode

Landlord Mode

3. Modes of Production: Capitalist and Corporate

Capitalist Mode

Ordering Principle: Competition

Mercantile Capitalism

Agrarian Capitalism

Industrial Capitalism: Six Behavioral Laws

The Quasi-Public Corporation Mode: Structure

Character of the Corporate Mode

4. The Mode of Production: Conclusion

The Cooperative Mode

Essential Principles of Cooperation

Retail Marketing Co-Ops

Farm Co-Ops

Public Mode

Staffing of the Public Mode

Technology of the Public Mode

Public Mode: Utilities

Military—Industrial—Science Complex

Hybrid Modes

Economic Systems as Multimodal

5. Coordination of Resource Use within and Between Modes



Price Formation


Economic Planning

Socialist Economic Planning

6. Functions of the State in the Economy


Regulation of Foreign Trade

Regulation of Domestic Production

Regulated Wages and Working Conditions

Price Control and Rationing

Other Regulatory Functions

Essential Public Works

Theory of Public Works

Income and Wealth Distribution

7. The Institution of Money

Concept of the Institution

Commodity Money and Coinage

Token Money

The Commercial Bank and Its Deposit or Note Money

Central Banks and the Gold Standard

U.S. External Deficit: The Undoing of the Gold Standard

Demonetization of Gold

Relations of Central Banks to Each Other

8. Institution of Property


Assets, Tangible and Intangible

Control and Beneficial Use

Inheritance, Partible or Concentrated


Protection of Interests

Ordering of Interests

Significance of Property for Economic Systems

9. The Economic System as a Whole

Summary View of an Economic System

How Economic Systems Evolve or Change Over Time

How Economic Systems Are Related to Each Other

Preindustrial Systems

Mercantilist Systems

Modern Systems

Each System Unique




No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1984
27th September 1984
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Manuel Gottlieb

About the Editors

Charles Tilly

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Michigan, U.S.A.

Edward Shorter

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Toronto, Canada

Ratings and Reviews