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Microeconomia reducionista e microeconomia sistêmica [Reductionist and systemic microeconomics]


  • Eleutério Prado



This paper argues that another microeconomics, methodologically different from neoclassical reductionism, is rapidly developing: systemic and evolutionary microeconomics. The former is based on clear-sighted agents that have access to information but do not really learn, and always proceed with substantive rationality. The latter is based on partially blind agents who learn and act rationally in an adaptive way. The study demonstrates that the crux of the difference between these two alternatives is the way they connect the parts among themselves and the parts to the whole. In the former, the agents are independent of each other and global properties are obtained by aggregation. In the latter, the agents are organized by social structures and they form compositions that have emergent properties. Therefore, the parts and the whole belong to each other; that is, they are inseparable. In the former, the agents are defined only by their intrinsic properties, but in the latter, they are also defined by their relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleutério Prado, 2006. "Microeconomia reducionista e microeconomia sistêmica [Reductionist and systemic microeconomics]," Nova Economia, Economics Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), vol. 16(2), pages 303-322, May-Augus.
  • Handle: RePEc:nov:artigo:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:303-322

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    More about this item


    evolutionary microeconomics; systemic microeconomics; adaptive rationality; procedural rationality; composition problem;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles


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