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Post Walrasian and Post Marxian Economics

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  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

It is widely believed that the failure of the socialist experiment should have had a devastating effect on radical economics. Yet radical economics is not only alive and well, but flourishing. Years before the official demise of Marxist-socialism, they had broadened their critique of standard economics well beyond the received Marxist literature. Indeed, their arguments offered striking parallels with the mainstream critiques of Walrasian economics provided by the newly developing strand of thought I shall refer to as "information economics." In Walrasian economics, information is free. Moreover, there are no costs associated either with making or enforcing contracts. But with imperfect and costly information and incomplete risk markets, the field of information economics has established that: 1) in general, markets are not (constrained) Pareto efficient; 2) markets may not clear; 3) markets may not exist, or when they exist, may be thin; 4) rents are pervasive, and indeed, reputation rents are necessary to ensure that high-quality products get produced, that workers do not shirk, and so on; 5) even when there are many participants in a market, competition may be highly imperfect; and 6) the distribution of income matters for economic efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 7 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 109-114

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:1:p:109-14

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.1.109
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  1. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
  2. von Weizsacker, Carl Christian, 1971. "Notes on endogenous change of tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 345-372, December.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  4. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  5. Ordover, Janusz A. & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Advances in supervision technology and economic welfare: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 371-389, December.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  7. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  9. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00270895 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stefano Zamagni, 1994. "Economia e filosofia," Working Papers 184, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. D. P. T. Young, 2000. "Firms' Market Power, Endogenous Preferences and the Focus of Competition Policy," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 73-87.
  4. David Colander, 2003. "Post Walrasian Macro Policy and the Economics of Muddling Through," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0322r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  5. Riechmann, Thomas & Weimann, Joachim, 2008. "Competition as a coordination device: Experimental evidence from a minimum effort coordination game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 437-454, June.
  6. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Evolving power and environmental policy: Explaining institutional change with group selection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 743-752, February.
  7. Markus Kitzmueller & Jay Shimshack, 2012. "Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 51-84, March.
  8. Yahya Madra & Fikret Adaman, 2013. "Neoliberal reason and its forms:Depoliticization through economization," Working Papers 2013/07, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  9. Roger Frydman, 1998. "Représentations de la société marchande et démarches de l'économiste. Le cas des néo-institutionnalismes," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 33(1), pages 57-79.
  10. Markus Kitzmueller, 2008. "Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/37, European University Institute.
  11. Russell Smyth & Dic Lo, 2000. "Theories of the Firm and the Relationship between Different Perspectives on the Division of Labour," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 333-349.
  12. J. Barkley Rosser, 2003. "A Nobel Prize for Asymmetric Information: The economic contributions of George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 3-21.

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