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Three Paths to Capitalism: an Agenda for Research

Anabela Nunes and Nuno Valério

No 1999/14, Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History from ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa

Abstract: Capitalist market economies developed historically in three different contexts: i) gradual transformation of traditional economies; ii) dismantling of war economy schemes; iii) failure of attempts to consolidate socialist centrally planned economies. The first path to capitalism has been the topic of extensive discussion by the founding fathers of economic science and by economic historians. The other two have remained largely untouched by theoretical analysis. We argue that comparison of the three paths to capitalism must become the main agenda for research of those interested in studying the emergence of capitalist market economies, providing a sound basis for developing theoretical frameworks for understanding these transition processes.

Date: 1999
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