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Normative Issues In Marginalism: The Case Of P. Wicksteed


  • Drakopoulos, Stavros A.


ABSTRACT Phillip Wicksteed’s ideas played an important role in the history of economic methodology. This is because of two reasons: The first was that his views represent the starting point of the deliberate attempt to expel normative issues from marginalist economic analysis. The second reason was that his ideas influenced his disciple L. Robbins, who was one of the first theorists to set the methodological basis for an allegedly value-free economic science. The paper examines Wicksteed’s conception of a positive economic science and the role of normative aspects. In the same context, his views on the nature and the role of economic man, and his analysis of selfish and altruistic behaviour are also discussed. Finally, the work combines the above with Wicksteed’s economic methodology in order to asses his overall role and influence on the development of the trend towards a value-free economic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2007. "Normative Issues In Marginalism: The Case Of P. Wicksteed," MPRA Paper 6684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6684

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drakopoulos, S. A., 1997. "Origins and Development of the Trend Toward Value-Free Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 286-300, September.
    2. Luigino Bruni & Robert Sugden, 2007. "The road not taken: how psychology was removed from economics, and how it might be brought back," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 146-173, January.
    3. Philippe Fontaine, 2000. "Making use of the past: theorists and historians on the economics of altruism," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 407-422.
    4. Flavio Comim, 2004. "The Common Sense of Political Economy of Philip Wicksteed," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 475-495, Fall.
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    More about this item


    Marginalism; Wicksteed; Normative; History of Economic Thought;

    JEL classification:

    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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