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Equilibrium versus Process: A Confrontation between Mainstream and Austrian Ontology

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  • Sandye Gloria-Palermo

    (GREDEG CNRS
    University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France)

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    Abstract

    We confront mainstream and Austrian economics from a history of economic analysis point of view in order to identify the main reasons of their divergent interests on the concepts of, respectively, equilibrium and processes. The result of this confrontation attributes a decisive role to ontological considerations: mainstream central focus on equilibrium is the consequence of the adoption of specific mathematical tools. But the claim for a mathematical approach to economics is a doctrine that is independent from any study on the nature of the underlying economic system and real phenomena that are non-tractable are either reinterpreted in an amenable to reason form or are simply ignored. The choice of the tools determine the orthodox vision of the economic world as a closed system of interacting autonomous atoms. Austrians proceed exactly the other way round: ontological investigations are the starting point and as a consequence, they choose the relevant tools so to be coherent with their ontology where social reality is apprehended along an open processual view.

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    File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2013-39.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in its series GREDEG Working Papers with number 2013-39.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2013-39

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    Keywords: Mainstream; mathematical formalism; Austrian school; social ontology; mathematical constructivism;

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    1. Nicola Giocoli, 2001. "Fixing the point: the contribution of early game theory to the tool-box of modern economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 1-39.
    2. Oprea, Ryan D & Wagner, Richard E, 2003. " Institutions, Emergence, and Macro Theorizing: A Review Essay on Roger Garrison's Time and Money," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 97-109, March.
    3. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2010. "Introducing Formalism in Economics: The Growth Model of John von Neumann," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 153-172, June.
    4. Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2002. "Was Hayek an Ace?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 811-840, April.
    5. Bruce Caldwell, 2004. "Some Reflections on F.A. Hayek's The Sensory Order," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, October.
    6. Kaldor, Nicholas, 1972. "The Irrelevance of Equilibrium Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(328), pages 1237-55, December.
    7. Gloria-Palermo, Sandye, 1999. " An Austrian Dilemma: Necessity and Impossibility of a Theory of Institutions," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1-2), pages 31-45.
    8. Blaug, Mark, 2003. "The Formalist Revolution of the 1950s," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 145-156, June.
    9. Chad Seagren, 2011. "Examining social processes with agent-based models," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-17, March.
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