IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The "Practical Reason" of Reformers: Proudhon vs. Institutionalism


  • Stefano Solari


Besides the common faith in the effect of collective action to change economic institutions and, above all, the distribution of income, the most remarkable similarity between Proudhon's theory and old institutionalism resides in their epistemology. In both cases, we find applications of some sort of classical "practical reason" approach to social order. The former tends to be centered on the idea of justice, the latter on democracy. The major difference is that law tends to be instrumental for institutionalists, while for Proudhon, the law is based on morals and is an expression of justice. Thus, institutionalism accepts public law as a mechanism of allocation and sees the state as an important factor in the enforcement of rights. On the contrary, Proudhon opposed any form of political control and based his "revolution" on social law.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Solari, 2012. "The "Practical Reason" of Reformers: Proudhon vs. Institutionalism," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 227-240.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:227-240 DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624460110

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
    2. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
    3. Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 327-397.
    4. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
    5. Masahiro Ashiya, 2009. "Strategic bias and professional affiliations of macroeconomic forecasters," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 120-130.
    6. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423, March.
    7. James Crotty, 2009. "Structural causes of the global financial crisis: a critical assessment of the 'new financial architecture'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 563-580, July.
    8. Gerald Epstein & Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth, 2010. "Financial Economists, Financial Interests and Dark Corners of the Meltdown: It’s Time to Set Ethical Standards for the Economics Profession," Working Papers wp239_revised, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    9. Tilman Ehrbeck & Robert Waldmann, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40.
    10. Jan Kregel, 2008. "Using Minsky's Cushions of Safety to Analyze the Crisis in the U. S. Subprime Mortgage Market," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 3-23.
    11. Law, Marc T. & Kim, Sukkoo, 2005. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 723-756, September.
    12. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298.
    13. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Christopher L. Foote & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "Reasonable people did disagree : optimism and pessimism about the U.S. housing market before the crash," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    14. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2004. "Advising Policymakers through the Media," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 395-406, October.
    15. V. Tambovtsev., 2009. "Financial Crisis and Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    16. Jane K. Dokko & Brian M. Doyle & Michael T. Kiley & Jinill Kim & Shane M. Sherlund & Jae W. Sim & Skander J. van den Heuvel, 2009. "Monetary policy and the housing bubble," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:227-240. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.