Property and contract in economics: The case for economic democracy

  • Ellerman D
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Abstract

Examines the institutions of property and contract that prevail in Western market economies, and makes the case for a private property market economy based on universal self-employment. Explores the descriptive and normative questions of property appropriation. Discusses the intellectual history and some standard misinterpretations of the labor theory of property. Examines the employee-employer contract and its predecessors, focusing on the hidden intellectual history of capitalism; contracts and inalienable rights; an intellectual history of inalienable rights theory; and misinterpretations of the de facto theory of inalienable rights. Applies the labor theory of property and the de facto theory of inalienable rights to economics, focusing on property fallacies in economics and marginal productivity theory. Develops a model that is used to compare and contrast marginal productivity theory, the Marxian labor theory of value, and the labor theory of property. Sketches the basics of a modern theory of property and contract. Ellerman is President of Employee Ownership Services, Inc., in Slovenia, where he provides consultation service on matters of privatization and employee ownership in Eastern Europe. Index.

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Authors

  • David P Ellerman

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