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The Economics of Influence


  • David Colander


The economics profession has fallen into the habit of telling a limited "economics of control" policy story in their teaching of economics. While it is a useful story, it leaves out important elements of policy. This paper briefly analyzes the history of the profession's current policy story, and argues that a newly developed complexity theory offers a richer policy narrative. It is a policy story in which the government and market coevolve, and the role of government policy is to positively influence that evolution, not to control the system. The paper concludes with a discussion of some implications that the acceptance of an economics-of-influence approach to policy would have for the story economists tell about policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 2014. "The Economics of Influence," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 485-492.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:48:y:2014:i:2:p:485-492
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624480223

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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Ramazzotti, 2016. "Themes in an institutionalist theory of economic policy," Working Papers 81-2016, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised May 2016.

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