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Northwood professor’s work featured in the Journal of Political Economy

November 15, 2022

Dr. Makovi measured the effect of the Russian Revolution on Karl Marx’s influence

 A Northwood professor’s work has been accepted by the Journal of Political Economy.

“It is a testament to the significance of Dr. Makovi’s work that his article will appear in The Journal of Political Economy which is one of the oldest and most prestigious journals in economics,” explained Dr. Kristin Stehouwer, academic vice president and provost at Northwood University.

Dr. Michael Makovi, who teaches economics at Northwood University, co-authored a piece entitled, “The Mainstreaming of Marx: Measuring the Effect of the Russian Revolution on Karl Marx’s Influence,” with Economist Phil Magness.

“Phil Magness and I were puzzled by the fact that Karl Marx is so well-known today despite the fact that his economic hypotheses were soundly refuted by economists in 1871, when the marginal theory of value replaced the labor theory of value,” Dr. Makovi stated. “Among economic theorists today, Marx is mentioned only in the history of thought — not as someone whose theories have any contemporary relevance or importance.”

Yet outside economics, Marx is one of the most famous and widely-cited thinkers, Dr. Makovi explained. Even among fields outside of social sciences – including English literature — Marx is frequently cited as having outstanding contemporary relevance and importance.

“We were puzzled by this contradiction, and we hypothesized that Marx’s extraordinary influence has relatively little to do with the inherent validity or importance of his ideas. Instead, we suggested that the Russian Revolution of 1917 uplifted Marx to a level of political importance which created an attraction for non-economists who were not familiar with the fact that his theories had already been refuted decades earlier,” Dr. Makovi continued. “We tested our hypothesis by comparing the trajectory of Marx’s citations before and after 1917. We found that after 1917, Marx’s citations began to grow faster than trend, just as we predicted.”

The Journal of Political Economy presents significant and essential scholarship in economic theory and practice. The journal publishes highly selective and widely cited analytical, interpretive, and empirical studies in several areas, including monetary theory, fiscal policy, labor economics, development, microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, international trade and finance, industrial organization, and social economics.

“We are so proud that the exemplary work done by Dr. Makovi and Dr. Magness has been featured in the Journal of Political Economy,” stated Dean of Faculty Patti Timm. “This is something the entire Northwood community can celebrate.”

Dr. Makovi hopes Northwood students will be inspired to see their faculty has been published in one of the top economic journals in the world.

“This is something we in academia work our whole careers to achieve, and I am privileged to represent Northwood in this capacity,” Dr. Makovi added.

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