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Government and the American Economy: A New History

ISBN-13: 978-0226251288
ISBN-10: 0226251284
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Editorial Reviews


“This book is a penetrating analysis of the changing role of the government in the U.S. economy from colonial time to the present.  Each chapter is a cameo presentation of its topic or period.”--Robert W. Fogel, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions, University of Chicago, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
(Robert W. Fogel 2007-01-10)

“This engaging and unique book tells the story of the evolution of the American economy from colonial times to the present – the journey of the United States from a peripheral state in the Atlantic economy to world leader. Along the way, it not only tells the economic story, but a political one, emphasizing the role of the government and interest groups in American economic development. The contributors represent a major portion of who's who in economic history.”--Barry R. Weingast, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor in the Department of Political Science, Stanford University
(Barry R. Weingast 2007-01-10)

“This is an important contribution to understanding both continuities and changes in the dynamics of the American economy and the role of governments at the federal, state, and local levels. The highly stimulating essays on the evolving role of government in the American economy, contributed by world class scholars, will be of interest to economists, political scientists, economic historians, and historians of public policy, who will find much to learn and much to teach.”--Paul Rhode, University of Arizona
(Paul Rhode 2007-01-17)

“Written for the general audience as well as the specialist, this is an ambitious, nuanced and thought-provoking critical evaluation of government’s role in the American economy—from its early history to the postwar era—by a distinguished cast of economic historians.”

(Jeremy Atack, Vanderbilt University 2006-12-21)

“Ever since Adam Smith, our intuition has led us to believe that good government and good institutions are absolutely central to economic development. Modern economic theory and empirical analysis have now converted that intuition into concrete fact. Government and the American Economy is a superb example of this conversion. It is a must read for anyone interested in what makes for long run economic success.”--Jeffrey G. Williamson, Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Harvard University
(Jeffrey G. Williamson 2007-01-03)

"They say that history is written by the winners, but history might be even more interesting when it's written by the economists. . . . It's a fascinating journey."

"A series of stimulating cameos by a distinguished assemblage of economic historians. . . . [The volume] can be recommended with confidence to scholars, students and interested readers."
(Gavin Wright EH.NET)

"An invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to know more about public economies and economic history. The volume includes contributions from leading economic historians, and readers are sure to find the essays easy to understand and enjoyable to read. . . . Highly recommended."
(Choice 2007-11-01)

"This volume not only deftly investigates whether and to what extent these and other policies have augmented standards of living. It also recognizes that such policies produce unintended consequences, including a government--read military-industrial-congressional complex--on which we increasingly rely."
(Joseph M. Santos Enterprise & Society)

About the Author

Price V. Fishback is the Frank and Clara Kramer ProfessorofEconomics at the University of Arizona and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the author of A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation.

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More About the Author

Robert A. McGuire was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in Lakewood (CA). He attended Paramount High School where he ran around with a group of rowdy friends as well as participated in cross-country and track. His education continued at Rio Hondo College in Whittier (CA), Long Beach State University (CA), and at the University of Washington in Seattle where he received a Ph.D. in economics.

McGuire is an economist with a strong historical bent. He is Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Akron in Ohio (but lives in California). He has previously been on the faculty at Ball State University in Muncie, IN and held visiting appointments at Ohio State, Washington State, and the Universities of California at Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz. He is an avid hiker, runner, skier, traveler, and wine collector who spends a week each spring skiing in Colorado, two to three weeks each summer in Europe, and also travels otherwise during the year but is always home for the (winter) holidays in Southern California.

McGuire's research interests are multi-faceted, examining economic development issues that integrate economic, historical, and microbiology perspectives, as well as examining various constitutional issues that integrate economics, history, and politics. His most recent book is _Parasites, Pathogens, and Progress: Diseases and Economic Development_ (MIT Press 2011).

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