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Imperialism and competition in anthropology, sociology, political science and economics: a perspective from development economics

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  • Ruttan, Vernon W.

Abstract

In work published in the 1980's Yujro Hayami and I elaborated a theory of institutional innovations in which institutional changes are induced, on the demand side, by changes in relative resource endowments and technical change and, on the supply side, by changes in cultural endowments and advances in social science knowledge. In the mid-1980's I initiated a research program to explore what development economists might learn from research by other social scientists working in the field of development. In this paper I draw on this earlier work, and on related literature to explore the conditions under which interdisciplinary imperialism or interdisciplinary collaboration can be most productive. I argue that when the objective of research is to advance fundamental knowledge in the social sciences imperialism can be highly productive. But where multiple sources of knowledge must be drawn on for policy, mechanism, or system design interdisciplinary collaboration is essential.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 30 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 15-29

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:30:y:2001:i:1:p:15-29

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. John Lodewijks, 1994. "Anthropologists and economists: conflict or cooperation?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 81-104.
  2. Ruttan, Vernon W, 1991. "What Happened to Political Development?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 265-92, January.
  3. Vernon Ruttan, 1998. "The new growth theory and development economics: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 1-26.
  4. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1995. "Cultural endowments and economic development: Implications for the Chinese economies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 91-104.
  5. Grossbard, Amyra, 1978. "Towards a Marriage between Economics and Anthropology and a General Theory of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 33-37, May.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
  8. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1986. "Cultural Endowments and Economic Development: What Can We Learn from Anthropology?," Bulletins 7505, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  10. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192.
  11. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana & Neuman, Shoshana, 1998. "The Extra Burden of Moslem Wives: Clues from Israeli Women's Labor Supply," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 491-517, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1985. "The Expanding Domain of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(6), pages 53-68, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Jackson, Cecile, 2002. "Disciplining Gender?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 497-509, March.
  2. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
  3. John Toye & David Hulme, 2005. "The case for cross-disciplinary social science research on poverty, inequality and well-being," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-001, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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