The Role of the Renaissance State in Economic Growth

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The Role of the Renaissance State in Economic Growth





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Saturday, April 09, 2011



Since the end of the industrialization, most countries and states had the task of examining how the state could play a role in economic development. However, this scrutiny came at different periods for most countries given the disparity in economic development of the world economies. It became more evident after the World War II, when the economic good of most countries had been messed by the expenses incurred during the war. In the light of the vast social and economic challenges- such as incessant economic crises, increasing unemployment, threatening income inequality and widespread poverty in the developing world- it is evident that the state has a significant role to play in economic development.

Role of the State in Economic Development

The renaissance concept of common good gave rise to the value of the state in achievement of economic growth. The entirety of the process was hinged on knowledge acquisition; which has resemblance to the contemporary economics of dynamic optimization of resources (Reinert 269). For this reason, the state attempted to achieve the common weal through creation of synergies and feedback mechanisms that were largely self-enforcing to attain increasing returns. Desire for optimization created the need for specialized tools and knowledge. Reinert argues that this mechanism explains the relationship between the developments of complex economies that have resemblances to the growth of complex technological systems (Reinert 269).

In the Renaissance, the state involved itself in the economic growth via interventionist means that were both activistic and idealistic. However, critics of the time argued that this intervention of the state interfered with the natural harmony established the prevailing market mechanism. These critics argued that the state should play the role of passive observer. However, others like Adam Smith felt that an industry that operates under increasing returns should be promoted; and that it was the role of the government to do so since such move would benefit the entire system.

In the Renaissance, the state played a major role in protection and promotion of knowledge through a number of ways. To achieve this objective, the state encouraged institution of scientific academies to encourage generation and acquisition of knowledge. It also encouraged and assisted inventors by way of giving rewards and honor.  Other states had stiffer penalties to ensure that knowledge within the state.............

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