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Veblen, Myrdal, and the Convergence Hypothesis: Toward an Institutionalist Critique


  • John Hall
  • Udo Ludwig


An Institutionalist critique that draws from selected contributions of Veblen and Myrdal initiates a convergence debate. Challenged is a Neoclassical interpretation of economic processes expected to lead toward a catching up with respect to per capita output of Germany's poorer eastern region with the richer western region. Economic method is considered, and the Institutionalist School of Thought rooted in contributions of Veblen as well as Myrdal is touted for offering higher levels of explanatory power than the Neoclassical School. We challenge the usefulness of laws in Economic Science, and especially their applicability to the empirical economy. Instead of automatic forces driving a meliorative trend, we seek to establish that human agency and policy play determining roles in affecting economic and societal outcomes in Germany's eastern region.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hall & Udo Ludwig, 2010. "Veblen, Myrdal, and the Convergence Hypothesis: Toward an Institutionalist Critique," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 943-962.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:943-962 DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440405

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-540, November.
    2. David Popp & Tamara Hafner & Nick Johnstone, 2007. "Policy vs. Consumer Pressure: Innovation and Diffusion of Alternative Bleaching Technologies in the Pulp Industry," NBER Working Papers 13439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Deily, Mary E. & Gray, Wayne B., 1991. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 260-274, November.
    4. Rachel Bouvier, 2009. "Determinants of Environmental Performance," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 23(2), pages 111-126, May.
    5. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Gambarotto & Stefano Solari, 2015. "The peripheralization of Southern European capitalism within the EMU," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 788-812, August.

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