IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Vers une autre science économique (et donc une autre institution de cette science)
[Toward another economic science (and thus toward another institution of this science)]

  • Yefimov, Vladimir
Registered author(s):

    Permanent readers of this journal have certainly noticed that the title of this article has a great similarity with the title of the issue No. 30 of the Revue du MAUSS. At first glance, the title of this issue “Toward another economic science (and thus toward another world)” may seem odd. Indeed, if the word "economic" is replaced in this title by the words "physical" ("chemical" or "biological"), we get a very strange statement: another type of physics (chemistry or biology) gives us another world in which we are supposed to live, that is to say, the physical properties of materials become different, chemical reactions occur differently, and biological properties of organisms are transformed. But if for natural sciences, this sentence does not make sense, it has a deep meaning for economics. The constructivist institutionalism gives us the key to understand this meaning. Following this institutionalism, economics provides society with the elements for the socio-economic-political discourse, and it is itself part of this discourse, which in turn significantly influence institutional change. This feature of economics creates a temptation for economists to go directly to the discourse (mainly what should be) without devoting enough attention to the study of reality (what is). The fact that economists do not resist this temptation has serious consequences: despite their good intentions, the proposed solutions elaborated without knowledge of the details of reality either do not give the expected results or often cause negative unexpected consequences. The 20th century gives plenty of evidence of this kind. According to social constructivism, "institutionalization occurs whenever there is a reciprocal typification of habitualized actions by types of actors. Put it differently, any such typification is an institution" [Berger and Luckmann, 1991, p. 72]. It is not enough to define institutions just as rules, but according to social constructivism, we consider them as rules when they become habits. The constructivist institutionalism sees the source of social regularities in these habits, and in this way it requires to study institutions as the foreground of the economy rather than its background. This type of study requires close ("ethnographic") observation made in the past by the German ethico-historical school (Gustav Schmoller) and the Wisconsin institutional school (John Commons). Heterodox economists (post-Keynesians, Marxists, regulationists, conventionalists, socio-economists) who see institutions as the background of the economy, practice remote observations and do not exercise the collection of detailed information about the rules and beliefs that support them contained in the discourses of actors. From this point of view, we can consider that the orthodox and most of the heterodox currents belong to the same paradigm that does not provide an understanding of economic reality and which does not make us capable to foresee the arrival of such phenomena as the current crisis and to explain their mechanisms. The few who have managed to do so did their research in the framework of another paradigm, that of constructivist institutionalism, perhaps without knowing it. The transition of the community of economists to this paradigm requires a radical institutional reform of the profession. The constructivist institutionalism also gives us some suggestions on how to run this reform.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49119/1/MPRA_paper_49119.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49119.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 10 May 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49119
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
    Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2006. "The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 29-46, Fall.
    2. Donald MacKenzie, 2006. "An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262134608, June.
    3. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change
      [Understanding the Process of Economic Change]
      ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
    4. Grimmer-Solem, Erik, 2003. "The Rise of Historical Economics and Social Reform in Germany 1864-1894," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199260416, March.
    5. Keith Tribe, 2002. "Historical Schools of Economics: German and English," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0211002, EconWPA.
    6. Yefimov, Vladimir M., 1981. "Gaming-simulation of the functioning of economic systems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-200, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49119. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.