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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Post Walrasian and Post Marxian Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 109-114, Winter.
  • 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.7.1.109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Salop, 1977. "The Noisy Monopolist: Imperfect Information, Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 393-406.
    2. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    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. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
    6. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    7. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-264.
    8. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    9. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    10. 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.
    11. von Weizsacker, Carl Christian, 1971. "Notes on endogenous change of tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 345-372, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 17-35.
    5. Markus Kitzmueller, 2008. "Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/37, European University Institute.
    6. Amjad Ali & Farooq Ahmed & Fazal- Ur- Rahman, 2016. "Impact of Government Borrowing on Financial Development (A case study of Pakistan)," Bulletin of Business and Economics (BBE), Research Foundation for Humanity (RFH), vol. 5(3), pages 135-143, September.
    7. J. Barkley Rosser Jr & Richard P.F. Holt & David Colander, 2010. "European Economics at a Crossroads," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13585.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Barbara Dluhosch, 2011. "European Economics at a Crossroads, by J. Barkley Rosser, Jr., Richard P. F. Holt, and David Colander," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 629-631, August.
    11. 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.
    12. S. Zamagni, 1994. "Economia e filosofia," Working Papers 184, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. 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.
    14. Yahya Madra & Fikret Adaman, 2013. "Neoliberal reason and its forms:Depoliticization through economization," Working Papers 2013/07, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    15. Cohen, Solomon I., 2014. "Different institutional behavior in different economic systems: Theory and evidence on diverging systems worldwide," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 221-242.
    16. Nilsen, Heidi Rapp & Ellingsen, May-Britt, 2015. "The power of environmental indifference. A critical discourse analysis of a collaboration of tourism firms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 26-33.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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