Author page for Stephen Marglin


Stephen Marglin

Stephen Marglin is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His published papers and books range over the foundations of cost-benefit analysis, the workings of the labor-surplus economy, the organization of production, the relationship between the growth of income and its distribution, and the process of macroeconomic adjustment. His recent work has focused on the foundational assumptions of economics and how these assumptions make community invisible to economists. Dr. Marglin has also been an adviser to governments and international agencies, for-profit concerns, and non-profit organizations in many different countries, most recently serving as an adviser on tax reform to the secretary of the treasury of Puerto Rico.



Tellus Publications (Selected)


Premises for a New Economy

Stephen Marglin

In an ecologically constrained world, both the global North and the global South need to consider new obligations and limits. A basic commitment to social justice requires that the claims of the poor, chiefly residing in the South, take precedence over the claims of the rich, chiefly residing in the North. The scope for further growth to contribute to well-being in affluent regions is quite limited, so the costs to the North of reducing growth may be modest-especially if a new economy is organized to provide the economic basis of a good life based on precepts other than more, more, and still more. While recognizing a priority for the poor imposes obligations on the North, this recognition cannot be a license for the South to replicate the wasteful disregard for ecosystem boundaries or the claims of the disadvantaged that has characterized growth in the North.