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Misconceptions of Power: From Alchian and Demsetz to Bowles and Gintis

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  • Giulio Palermo

Abstract

Is there any difference between Alchian and Demsetz’s ultra-liberalism and Bowles and Gintis’ radicalism? My answer is that, ontologically and methodologically, there is none. Their common neoclassical methodology results in the same conception of power as incompatible with Walrasian competition and the sole difference between them regards the extension of power and competition in reality. Paradoxically, notwithstanding Bowles and Gintis’ label of radicals, this conception coincides with the liberal view that sees competition as a natural and universal mode of social interaction (JEL L220, D230, B210).

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Paper provided by University of Brescia, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number ubs0510.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ubs:wpaper:ubs0510

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