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A chart demonstrating increases in the annual income of the top 1% of wealthy persons in the U.S. before economic crises. In 1928 and 2007 that share was at a peak..

A chart demonstrating increases in the annual income of the top 1% of wealthy persons in the U.S. before economic crises. Chart by RoyBoy using data initially published as Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez (2003). Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Our featured essay by Jeremy Adelman introduces a dossier on the moral economy. He begins by discussing how the 2008 financial crisis “pulled the veil off the myth of the freestanding market.”

Introduction: The Moral Economy, The Careers of a Concept

Abstract: This essay explores the history of the idea of the moral economy—and the moral economy as an idea. It shows the ways in which debates about the market since the eighteenth century have been shadowed by debates and concerns about the ethical foundations of economic life. The history of capitalism has contained within it an internal tension between a romance with the market and nostalgia for worlds it dissolved. Moral economy has been a concept with many, global origins and different temporalities, depending on Read More »

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