Dr. Patrick Raines, dean of Belmont University’s College of Business Administration and professor of economics, recently published his third book with Dr. Charles Leathers, titled Debt, Innovations and Deflation (Edward Elgar Publishing). Insightful and timely in light of current fiscal conditions, the book examines the historical perspectives of great economists on previous debt-induced economic disruptions. Raines also shared his business expertise and ideas from the book during interviews last week with international media who were in Nashville for the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, including conversations with both the BBC and NPR about the current global financial crisis.
“The past several years have ushered in a new era in economic policy issues,” Raines said. “After decades of concern over inflation, studies indicate that we now face the potentially greater danger of deflation. Our book analyzes whether post-World War II capitalist economies can rely on policies and institutional reforms to keep an inherent tendency toward deflation in check.”
In Debt, Innovations and Deflation, Raines and Leathers examine the deflation theories of Thorstein Veblen, Irving Fisher, Joseph A. Schumpeter and Hyman Minsky. In so doing, the authors develop a paradigm for understanding the phenomenon of deflation. The theories explain how technological, organizational and financial innovations—combined with developments related to the creation and use of debt—give rise to conditions in which both deflation and inflation can be present in the modern economy.
In 2000, Raines and Leathers’ book Economists and the Stock Market: Speculative Theories of Stock Market Fluctuations was a top seller in its category on Amazon.com. In 2003, they published the Economic Institutions of Higher Education: Economic Theories of University Behavior.