• Benjamin Friedman


August 26, 2021, Video: "Dr. Benjamin M. Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy, and formerly Chairman of the Department of Economics, at Harvard University. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1972. Dr Friedman’s newest book is Religion and the Rise of Capitalism – a fundamental reassessment of the foundations of current-day economics, showing how religious thinking has shaped economic thinking ever since the beginnings of modern Western economics and how this influence continues to be relevant today especially in the United States. His two other general interest books have been The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth (Knopf) and Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After (Random House). In this episode, we focus on Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. We get first into a bit of the early history of economics. We focus a lot on David Hume and Adam Smith, and also in how economic thinking changed after them. We talk about some of the most influential schools of thinking in economics during the 19th and 20th centuries. We discuss the political influence of the evangelical protestants in the US. We also talk about the relationship between capitalism and political ideology, like liberalism and conservatism. Finally, we discuss if there is any contradiction between the promotion of cooperation by religion, and the competitive nature of capitalism, and if we would have ever have modern Western economic thinking without Protestantism."

Non-HKS Author Website - Benjamin Friedman