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About this book

This book addresses the comparative history of economic thought in Central European countries where there is a notable common historic heritage and political traits. The author explores issues of Central European identity, Habsburgian and Soviet influence, and nationalistic traditions, and reveals commonalities between Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak economic thought: such similarities proceed to explain aspects of contemporary economic and social policies in these countries.

This book aims to highlight connections among Central European economists and will be of interest to economists, economic historians, sociologists and historians.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This book provides preliminary information about Central European economic thought development for approximately four hundred years. It is an introduction to a history of economic thought in Central Europe. We perceive Central Europe as a compact territory of the four present-day countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic. This region represents a geographical concept that has acquired a political and a cultural undertone. Central Europe varies culturally, historically, politically, and economically from Europe’s other parts and regions. After the introduction, the next chapter discusses the emergence of economic thought and its evolution until World War I. Chapter 3 includes the period between the two World Wars. Chapter 4 concentrates on the socialist period, while Chap. 5 deals shortly with the period after the socialist system’s break-up. The Appendix presents an incomplete list of economists born in Central Europe who made careers in Western countries, mostly in the twentieth century. Finally, we conclude.
Julius Horvath

Chapter 2. From Beginning Until the World War I

Abstract
In the Central European region, political economy–related writings emerged from around the sixteenth century. First, we briefly introduce the early works mentioning authors as Wernherus, Lyczei, Copernicus, Gotomski, and others. In more detail, we present Martinus Szent-Ivany, especially a section of his book Curiosiora et Selectiora on the political economy. Next, we portray literature of the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries. We shortly mention Fryderyk Skarbek, Michal Baludjanski, and others. We present the life and work of Mátyas Bél, Gregorius Berzeviczy, Marton Schwartner. In the last section, we present works till the beginning of World War One, especially of Gyula Kautz, Béla Földes, Albín Bráf. We close with a short treatise on the early impact of Adam Smith and the Austrian school in Central Europe.
Julius Horvath

Chapter 3. The Interwar Period

Abstract
This chapter begins with a description of the complicated economic situation after World War One. We contrast the Czech and Hungarian responses to hyper-inflationary pressures. After a short portrayal of Wladyslaw Zawadzki, we present the life and work of two eminent Czech economists Alois Rašín and Karel Engliš. We portray the founder of economic science in Slovakia, Imrich Karvaš. Portrayals of three Hungarian economists, Elemér Hantos, Ákos Navratil, and Farkas Heller, close this chapter.
Julius Horvath

Chapter 4. The Socialist Period

Abstract
We begin with a short description of the socialist economic model and point to its fundamental characteristics. We portray leading reformers of the socialist economic mechanism, who often began as representatives of communist orthodoxy in the early 1950s. We present the reforms in the socialist Czechoslovakia of the 1960s, focusing on the life and work of Ota Šik. We portray the work of Josef Goldmann, the prominent Czech economist who worked during the socialist period. Then we present the life and reform impact of an early Hungarian socialist market reformer György Péter. Afterward, we present the contribution of the most influential analyst of the socialist economy, János Kornai. We close by a short presentation of the work and life of Oskar Lange and Michal Kalecki.
Julius Horvath

Chapter 5. Early Years After the Break-up of Socialism

Abstract
This short chapter begins with a characterization of the economies in the transition period. It presents an overview of policymakers in charge of the transformation process from socialism to the market economy. In a short study, we present the background to the development of liberal ideas, which influenced the early Czech transformation.
Julius Horvath

Backmatter

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