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John Kenneth Galbraith and original institutional economics

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  • JAMES RONALD STANFIELD
  • MARY WRENN

Abstract

Thorstein Veblen is the acknowledged founder of the original (old) institutional economics (OIE). Later contributors include John R. Commons, Clarence Ayres, Walton Hamilton, Rexford Tugwell, and, it is argued, John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith's insistence that economics address the social predicament and pass the "test of anxiety" is consistent with the pragmatism of OIE. Indeed, Galbraith epitomizes the OIE in his blending social scientist with social reformer. Galbraith's treatment of technology and institutions is reminiscent of Veblen's celebrated dichotomy, as is his emphasis on power and the "conventional wisdom," and his insistence that the social economy is ever evolving, whereby the economic problem is not static but processual, which mandates continuous social reform efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • James Ronald Stanfield & Mary Wrenn, 2005. "John Kenneth Galbraith and original institutional economics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 26-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:28:y:2005:i:1:p:26-45
    DOI: 10.1080/01603477.2005.11051467
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    Cited by:

    1. Clifford Poirot & Samuel Pavel, 2008. "The State, Public Policy and Heterodox Economics: An Introduction," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 1-12, January.
    2. Alexandre Chirat & Charlotte Le Chapelain, 2017. "Some “unexpected proximities” between Schultz and Galbraith on human capital," Working Papers of BETA 2017-18, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Alexandre Chirat & Charlotte Le Chapelain, 2017. "Some “unexpected proximities” between Schultz and Galbraith on human capital," Working Papers 08-17, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    4. Clifford Poirot & Samuel Pavel, 2008. "The State, Public Policy and Heterodox Economics: An Introduction," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 1-12, May.
    5. Adem LEVENT, 2016. "Power, Market and Techno-Structure in John Kenneth Galbraith’s Thought," Journal of Social and Administrative Sciences, KSP Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 214-218, June.
    6. Mary Wrenn, 2011. "The Economic Surplus as a Fund for Social Change and Postneoliberal Governance," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 40(1), pages 99-117, April.

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