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The social science of economics

Author

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  • Brian Loasby

    (SCEME, University of Stirling)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Loasby, 2007. "The social science of economics," SCEME Working Papers: Advances in Economic Methodology 020/2007, SCEME.
  • Handle: RePEc:sti:wpaper:020/2007
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    File URL: http://www.sceme.org.uk/wps/SCEME020_Loasby_2007.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Toporowski, 2013. "The Elgar Companion to Hyman Minsky," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 175-177, January.
    2. S. C. Dow., 2010. "The Psychology of Financial Markets: Keynes, Minsky and Emotional Finance," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adam Smith; Alfred Marshall; Hayek;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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