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Modeling the Effects of Economic Behavior in Determining the Organization of Society

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  • Wicks, Rick

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

The three “spheres” of society (governments, markets, and communities) are widely acknowledged yet the overall organization is analyzed only rarely, and interactions between the spheres have perhaps never been modeled. Fiske’s four relational models (community-sharing, authority-ranking, equality-matching, and marketpricing) are used as the theoretical underpinning for a model of these three spheres, which is then used briefly to examine the effects of economic behavior (including economic thinking and theorizing) in determining the balance between them. Each of the spheres is assumed to have a fairly fixed core, plus some space between the cores which may be designated to one or another sphere. In the long run, this designation may reflect meta-economic efficiency, influenced by changes in physical, social, psychological, and information technology. In the short run, however, the outcome depends on human choice and will, in evaluating uncertain information about technologies and the meta-economic efficiency of changing sphereassignments (including possible changing cultural and historical differences in the relative evaluation of public, private, and social goods produced in the three spheres). It can thus be influenced by ideology, specifically through the application of inappropriate relational models to any particular social function or situation. For example, applying economic thinking to communities may undermine them, especially if the social sphere of communities operating under its own relational models is not acknowledged.

Suggested Citation

  • Wicks, Rick, 2006. "Modeling the Effects of Economic Behavior in Determining the Organization of Society," Working Papers in Economics 195, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0195
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2726
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Howard R. Bowen, 1943. "The Interpretation of Voting in the Allocation of Economic Resources," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 27-48.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    three social spheres; communities; social goods; relational models; community-sharing; authority-ranking; equality-matching; market-pricing; metaeconomic efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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