Deidre McCloskey, the eminent economic historian whom some of you may know as Donald, before her illustrious transition in the 1990s, recently gave a talk to the Legatum Institute on her ideas of Bourgeoisie Capitalism.
When asked to summarise her thesis into a few words, she said “let people have a go”. She believes that economic growth doesn’t stem from institutions or capital accumulation – although these may be necessary – but the real reason arises from market power embetterment: if people believe that hard work can improve their situation then they will do so. This counters the Weber theory: that protestant virtue of savings and hard work allowed for a pool of investable money to expand the capital stock, along with a pool of hard workers and entrepreneurs which created unparalleled economic growth. [...]