Normative Microeconomics and the Social Contract
More than thirty years ago, the advancing mathematical economics and the emerging game theory joined forces to attack an ambitious program of social engineering in the microeconomic scale often known "mechanism design", but more accurately described as "normative economics." It combines the tools of normative/axiomatic and strategic/equilibrium analysis to address, inter alia, the design of auctions and other trading mechanisms, the provision of public goods, the fair division of costs or manna--e.g., inheritance and bankruptcy settlements--, the rationing of overdemanded commodities and the scheduling of tasks. My goal in this lecture is to explore the methodological and ideological premises of normative microeconomics. I submit that this approach falls squarely in the three centuries old tradition in political philosophy known as the social contract doctrine, and provides powerful arguments against its intellectual nemesis, the minimal state doctrine. This controversial strand explains some of the resistance to the normative approach within the academic economic profession, and is likely to shape its development for the foreseeable future.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: MS-22, 6100 South Main, Houston, TX 77005-1892|
Phone: (713) 527-4875
Fax: (713) 285-5278
Web page: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~econ/papers/index.html
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
- Chun, Youngsub, 1989. "A new axiomatization of the shapley value," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 119-130, June.
- H. R. Varian, 1973.
"Equity, Envy and Efficiency,"
115, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, September.
- Aumann, Robert J. & Heifetz, Aviad, 2002.
Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,
in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 43, pages 1665-1686
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:riceco:2001-04. 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: ()
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.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.