Dennis Robertson on Industrialized Society: The Control of Industry reexamined
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A Consideration of Dennis Robertson's ideas and his work, The Control of Industry (1923), this paper begins with a review of the historical background. It then examines Robertson's views on industrialized society, including his assessment of the alternative strategies - democracy of consumers, workers' control, and the joint control of industry - posed as solutions to social problems created by industrialization. I then go into Robertson's contributions in The Control of Industry. First, using the "Capitalism's Golden Rule" (association of control with risk), he points out that profits are obtained by assuming a risk, and he puts forth the alternative strategy of the control of industry based on this principle. Second, I make the case that he advocated joint control of industry partly because he believed it was instrumental in allowing workers to fulfill their human potential and also because it was an effective way to mitigate industrial fluctuations. Third, I argue that Robertson inherited the dynamic characteristic of Marshall's industrial economics and that his industry-level analysis corresponds to the macro-level theory of industrial fluctuation.
- The history of economic thought
The history of economic thought 47(2), 45-56, 2005-12
The Japanese Society for the History of Economic Thought