• James Robinson


The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism. James A. Robinson, January 2015, Paper. "Thomas Piketty's (2013) book, 'Capital in the 21st Century,' follows in the tradition of the great classical economists, like Marx and Ricardo, in formulating general laws of capitalism to diagnose and predict the dynamics of inequality. We argue that general economic laws are unhelpful as a guide to understanding the past or predicting the future because they ignore the central role of political and economic institutions, as well as the endogenous evolution of technology, in shaping the distribution of resources in society..."