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A Very Reasonable Objective Still Beyond Our Reach: Economics as an Empirically Disciplined Social Science

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  • Giovanni Dosi

Abstract

The paper discusses some fundamental features of the 'Simonian' research program in microeconomics and compare them with two streams of thought which find their roots into Simon's pathbreaking work since the '50s and '60s, namely Transaction Cost Economics and Evolutionary Economics. One argues that the latter is in a particularly promising position to advance toward the kind of empirically disciplined microeconomics advocated by Herbert Simon. It does so also through painstaking attempts to operationalize the notion of 'bounded rationality' - in the broadest sense -, to make bridges with the microevidence from other social sciences - e.g. cognitive and social psychology, etc.-, and to "open up the organizational blackbox". And all that is undertaken outside the straightjacket of any religious committment to equilibrium analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Dosi, 2002. "A Very Reasonable Objective Still Beyond Our Reach: Economics as an Empirically Disciplined Social Science," LEM Papers Series 2002/03, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2002/03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mie Augier & James March, 2001. "Conflict of Interest in Theories of Organization: Herbert A. Simon and Oliver E. Williamson," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 5(3), pages 223-230, September.
    2. Sydney Winter & Giovanni Dosi, 2000. "Interpreting Economic Change: Evolution, Structures and Games," LEM Papers Series 2000/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    4. David, Paul A., 1994. "Why are institutions the 'carriers of history'?: Path dependence and the evolution of conventions, organizations and institutions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 205-220, December.
    5. Cohen, Michael D, et al, 1996. "Routines and Other Recurring Action Patterns of Organizations: Contemporary Research Issues," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 653-698.
    6. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Arena, 2017. "Schumpeter and Schumpeterians on competition: some policy implications," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 161-186, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Herbert Simon; Evolutionary Economics; Transaction Cost Economics; Bounded Rationality; Organization.;

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