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The "Socialization of Investment" (Law and Economics Papers)

paper money of many nations
May 7, 2024

Robert Hockett in World in Focus

Robert Hockett recently published a paper, The "Socialization of Investment," in CRADLE's new open-access Law and Economics Papers series.

"This has been all about reclaiming public capital for ... investment that grows the Republic’s wealth. And the Republic’s wealth is just the Citizens’ wealth—our 'Commonwealth.' This is, of course, what we owe and are owed by one another. It’s literally what we owe to ourselves."

The paper aims to demystify economist John Maynard Keynes' General Theory by interpreting some "intriguing asides" he introduced when writing about investment and capital. Hockett analyzes "three provocative phrases seemingly alluding to a common contemporary prospect": public investment financed by public finance-capital.

In Hockett's view, these "throwaway lines" offer clues toward constructing "both a plausible model and a powerful brief that Keynes might have composed—and would surely have approved—for reforming contemporary finance in certain materially productive, hence socially salutary ways."

The paper ultimately outlines a Capital Commons model that suggests a pathway to socialize investment while being attentive to private sector and public sector advantages.

Hockett's paper is one of four working papers launching CRADLE's new open-access series. Read the Law and Economics Papers and find out how to submit your paper for consideration.

Robert Hockett is cofounder of Cornell Research Academy of Development, Law, and Economics (CRADLE), an interdisciplinary research initiative based at Einaudi.

Read the paper

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  • Development, Law, and Economics
  • World in Focus