Karl William Kapp

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Karl William Kapp (October 27, 1910April 4, 1976) was a German-American economist, one of the founders of ecological economics and one of the leading 20th century institutional economists.

Quotes[edit]

  • Whenever social costs are shifted onto economically and politically weaker sections of society without compensation, a redistribution of the costs of production, hence real income is involved.
    • Knapp, 1972 cited in: Sebastian Berger and Mathew Forstater (2007) "Toward a Political Institutionalist Economics: Kapp’s Social Costs, Lowe’s Instrumental Analysis, and the European Institutionalist Approach to Environmental Policy". In: Journal of Economic Issues. Vol.XLI, No.2, June 2007. p. 539
  • Had there been a computer in 1872... it would probably have predicted that there would be so many horse-drawn vehicles that it would be impossible to clear up all the manure.

Social Costs of Business Enterprise, 1963[edit]

K. William Kapp, The Social Costs of Private Enterprise (New York: Schocken Books, 1971),

  • Social costs... are all direct and indirect losses sustained by third persons or the general public as a result of unrestrained economic activities.
    • p. 12. Cited in: M. Rangone & S. Solari (2012) "Southern European capitalism and the social costs of business enterprise". in: Studi e Note di Economia, Anno XVII, n. 1-2012, pp. 3-28
  • To ignore social costs because they require an evaluation by society... and to leave social losses out of account because they are 'external' and 'non-economic' in character, would be equivalent to attributing no or ‘zero’ value to all social damages which is no less arbitrary and subjective a judgement than any positive or negative evaluation of social costs.
    • p. 12. Cited in: M. Rangone & S. Solari (2012) "Southern European capitalism and the social costs of business enterprise". in: Studi e Note di Economia, Anno XVII, n. 1-2012, pp. 3-28
  • They (social costs) are damages or diseconomies sustained by the economy in general, which under different institutional conditions could be avoided. [. . .] if these costs were inevitable under any kind of institutional arrangement they would not really present a special theoretical problem. [. . .] to reveal their origin, the study of social costs must always be an institutional analysis. Such an analysis raises inevitably the question of institutional reform and policy.
    • p. 186 cited in: Sebastian Berger and Mathew Forstater (2007) "Toward a Political Institutionalist Economics: Kapp’s Social Costs, Lowe’s Instrumental Analysis, and the European Institutionalist Approach to Environmental Policy". In: Journal of Economic Issues. Vol.XLI, No.2, June 2007. p. 539
  • Capitalism must be regarded as an economy of unpaid costs, ‘unpaid’ in so far as a substantial portion of the actual costs of production remains unaccounted for in entrepreneurial outlays; instead they are shifted to, and ultimately borne by, third persons or by the community as a whole.
    • p. 231. Cited in: Rania Ghosn (2012) "Where are the Missing Spaces? The Geography of some Uncommon Interests" in the Yale Architectural Journal Perspecta. Perspecta 45.

Quotes about K. William Kapp[edit]

  • K. William Kapp's book "The Social Costs of Private Enterprise" was one of the first economic treatise that called attention to the ecological and social external costs of the market economy. His book is considered one of the origins of and a foundation for ecological economics.

External links[edit]

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