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The social science of economics

  • Brian Loasby

    (SCEME, University of Stirling)

The argument of this paper is that much modern economics is drastically undersocialised because it lacks an understanding of the distinctive characteristics of the evolved human mind, despite the significant insights provided by three of our most famous economists, Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall and Friedrich Hayek. This deficiency results from a failure to apply what may be considered the defining principle of economics, that of analysing the implications of scarcity. These implications challenge the adequacy of a theoretical structure based on the confrontation of preference functions and opportunity sets, even when extended to include formal interdependence, as in game theory; they require both a more modest view of human cognitive abilities and a more extensive view of human motivation and potential.

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File URL: http://www.sceme.org.uk/wps/SCEME020_Loasby_2007.pdf
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Paper provided by SCEME in its series SCEME Working Papers: Advances in Economic Methodology with number 020/2007.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sti:wpaper:020/2007
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