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Economics and the Self-Organisation Approach: Alfred Marshall Revisited

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  • Foster, John

Abstract

The economics of Alfred Marshall is reassessed in the light of new developments in the natural sciences whereby a nonequilibrium thermodynamic approach is adopted to analyze self-organization in dissipative structures. It is argued that there is a clear correspondence between Marshall's treatment of time irreversibility and this modern approach, particularly when the latter is set in an informational context. Thus, his Principles is viewed as a very useful starting point in adapting the self-organization approach for application in economics. The main features of such a post-Marshallian approach to economics are discussed and compared with the mechanical approach of neoclassicism. Copyright 1993 by Royal Economic Society.

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  • Foster, John, 1993. "Economics and the Self-Organisation Approach: Alfred Marshall Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 975-991, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:103:y:1993:i:419:p:975-91
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