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

  • Ruttan, Vernon W.

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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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
  2. 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.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1986. "Cultural Endowments and Economic Development: What Can We Learn from Anthropology?," Bulletins 7505, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  7. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1985. "The Expanding Domain of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(6), pages 53-68, December.
  8. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192, March.
  9. John Lodewijks, 1994. "Anthropologists and economists: conflict or cooperation?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 81-104.
  10. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1995. "Cultural endowments and economic development: Implications for the Chinese economies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 91-104.
  11. 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.
  12. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1989. "What Happened to Political Development?," Bulletins 7462, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  13. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1982. "Economics and the Family-Match or Mismatch? A Review of Becker's A Treatise on the Family," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 52-64, March.
  14. 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.
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