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Economic Sociology or Economic Imperialism? The Case of Gary C. Becker

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  • Tittenbrun, Jacek S.

Abstract

The paper is devoted to a critical analysis of a number of key theories by Gary S. Becker. It is commonly believed that his main accomplishment lies in the extension of the scope of an economic analysis to include numerous traditionally considered as non-economic phenomena. This extension, however, is only feasible at the expense of another extension – this time of the scope of the concepts used. This over-inclusiveness , in turn, makes his theories impossible to falsify, thus calling into question their scientific quality. In the process of considering particular Becker’s conceptions, i.e. human and social capital, the family, marriage and household and the polity a host of other specific drawbacks of Becker’s economic approach to social processes, often related to his ideological bias are indicated.

Suggested Citation

  • Tittenbrun, Jacek S., 2011. "Economic Sociology or Economic Imperialism? The Case of Gary C. Becker," MPRA Paper 33708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33708
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33708/1/MPRA_paper_33708.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1997. "Unobservable Individual Effects, Marriage and the Earnings of Young Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 285-294, April.
    2. Kate Antonovics & Robert Town, 2004. "Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 317-321, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Becker; human capital; social capital; marriage; altruism; self-interest family;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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