Information Bulletin of the Union of National Economic Associations in Japan No. 2 (1982) pp. 33-35
(Kazuo MAZANE & Kunihiro WATANABE; Sanned and corrected by Aiko IKEO in 1997)
The 45th annual conference was held on 7-8 November 1981 at Ryukoku University in Kyoto. The common theme of this meeting, which is to be developed further next year, was advanced vs. underdeveloped countries as a problem in the history of economic thought". Three papers were read: (1) "Advanced countries vs. underdeveloped countries in James Stewart". (Noboru KOBAYASHI, Rikkyo University) (2) "Civilization, advanced countries and underdeveloped countries in J.S. Mill". Jiro KUMAGAI, Momoyamagakuin University) (3) "Alfred Marshall and the world economy problems". (Tadashi HAYASAKA, University of Tokyo)
The chairman were Hiroshi MIZUTA (University of Nagoya) and Saiichi MIYAZAKI (Tokyo Women's College).
(1) KOBAYASHI's paper: Sir James Steuart's "Principles" (1767) was not inferior in substance to A. Smith's "Wealth of Nations". Steuart wrote, however, most of this work during his long excite on the Continent. He anticipated Smith by nine years and could not therefore have had any intention to criticize him.
We may say that the "Principles" contains essentially "a general theory of primitive accumulation" (Marx). Though the author of the "Wealth of Nations" does not mention Steuart, he tried by inference to criticize the theoretical system of the "Principles".
The theoretical cores of the "Principles" are as follows: modern society was regarded as an Independent producers' society" that originated from the separation of industry from agriculture. Although Steuart admitted the unrestrained pursuit of self-love by every individual and the operation of the market mechanism to he the basic principles of modern society, the practice of a skillful art of political economy on the part of "statesmen was indispensable. For the sake of the progress of society, the expansion of "effectual demands and an advantageous balance of trade were regarded as significant. From these points of view, the role of money and finance in economic progress were full discussed and it may be possible for us to call Steuart's approach "a theory of the monetary management".
Steuart analyzed price phenomena in depth. He considered the "completion" of the exchange economy to be the result of economic growth. But he could not explain the genesis of profit and the mechanism of accumulation in a consistent way.
He took the landlords and the "moneyed interested to be the creators of "effectual demand". He advocated the foundation of the Land-Bank on general grounds, though his theme could also be thought of as a remedy for the landlords who lacked money.
Smith failed to notice the historical significance of "primitive accumulation" and monetary analysis in general, whereas Steuart stressed them. For this reason, Steuart had been studied repeatedly in America, France and Germany which were less developed than Britain.
Later on, Steuart's theory was re-evaluated by both Marx and Keynes.
(2) KUMAGAI's paper: Mill's theory on the subsidiary effects of foreign trade suggested that underdeveloped countries could, by trading with advanced countries, get the stimulation of wants (and later industry) which would enable them to make progress.
Often the response of an underdeveloped country to external stimulus was accelerated by the re-allocation of the land. As a result of this interpretation Mill tended to criticise both the British landed interests and British political economy. Mill's views reflected those of the middle class, of which he was himself a member. For him colonization by Britain was the best for everyone concerned including those colonized. He lacked a frame work for the analysis of underdevelopment.
(3) HAYASAKA's paper: From the beginning of his studies, Alfred Marshall was very conscious of the deterioration of the British situation within the world economy.
Among with the problem of poverty, Marshall thought the situation of Great Britain in the age of the "great depression" after 1873 had been worsened. Marshall took this as his main theme.
Along with J.A. Hobson who severely criticised imperialism, Marshall was one of the few economists who was interested in the "underdeveloped countries". But his main concern was the problem of `later-developed' capitalist countries.
His fear of the decline of Britain began with his visit to America, and culminated in his article "Memorandum on the fiscal policy of international trade" (1903) which was written in the course of the "tariff debates".
Although he thought much of "increasing return", it would have been easy for him to support Chamberlain's protectionism. But in fact he supported free trade because of his fear of the political corruption that might arise from a tariff. His opinions were no changed in his later works.
Satoshi YAMAZAKI (University of Kagawa), Saburo SHINOMIYA (University of Shizuoka) and Akio FUJITA (University of Kanazawa) were the commentators on these three reports.
In addition to the above-mentioned conference debates, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Society, the book "Economic Thought in Japan" (a preliminary title) will be published before long.
Its contents and contributors are as follows.
I. The "soil" of political economy in Japan. (Kenji KAWANO, Aichi University )
II. Foundation and development.
(1) The Society for the Study of Social Policy: Its establishment to dissolution (1896- 1924) (Kanae IIDA, Keio University)
(2) From its dissolution to the World War II (1924-1941) (Yukio CHO, Tokyo University of Foreign Languages)
(3) World War II (1941-1945) (Tadashi HAYASAKA, University of Tokyo)
(4) The Postwar period (1945ff)
(A) Modern economics (Mitsuharu ITO, University of Chiba)
(B) Marxian economics (Saiichi MIYAZAKI, Tokyo Women's College)
III. Traditional economic thought and the receiving process of economic thought.
(1) Economic thought before the Meiji era (before 1868) (Takahito SAKASAI, Rikkyo University)
(2) Studies on the history of economic thought from the Meiji Restoration to the Pre-war years (1868- 1941) (Shiro SUGIHARA, Konan University & Kiichi MIZOKAWA, University of Kyoto)
IV. Appendix : Bibliographies.
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