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Formative Process of John R. Commons’ Income Approach to Falling Prices

Kota Kitagawa

Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 4, 937-957

Abstract: I illustrate the formative process of John R. Commons’ price movement theory. To characterize his theoretical development, I propose a framework, “income approach,” in which the change in collective expectation leads to a change in the amount of income, first as bank credit and then as price movement. Further, I illustrate his theoretical development as the framework's formation. Compared with his 1890s papers, his 1923 papers show significant theoretical progress. His reading of Ralph G. Hawtrey, the pioneer of the income approach, may have contributed to this progress. Subsequently, by elaborating on an explanation for the continuously falling prices during the Great Depression, Commons finally established his comprehensive income approachs.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2020.1818503

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