RE: [OPE] Mistaking Mathematical Beauty for Economic Truth

Date: Sat Sep 12 2009 - 06:57:36 EDT

Alejandro A:
while it's true that Bowles has moved more towards mainstream (marginalist)
economic theory in recent decades, the following does not express his
core perspective. This can be seen in _Understanding Capitalism_ (3rd
edition, a textbook co-authored with Richard Edwards and Frank Roosevelt).
He presents what theu call a "three dimensional approach" which focuses on
competition (the horizontal dimension), command (vertical dimension - with
a focus on class), and change (a temporal dimension). While influenced by
Marx, it might be seen as a sort of institutionalist perspective (not to
be confused with what is now called neo-institutionalism). Note in the following
quotation which concerns competition, he's also bringing in authority structure
(a command relation).
In solidarity, Jerry
**Its key feature is that the firm is represented as a group of suppliers of inputs to a common production process whose activities are coordinated by means of an authority structure rather than by market exchanges governed by complete contracts… The central analytical problem is to understand how the structure of firms addresses the conflicts and incentive problems arising from the fact that because labor, credit, and other contracts are incomplete, those with decision-making authority in the firm have power over other peoples’ labor. An important question, then, is why is it generally the case that in capitalist economies control rights are not assigned to those who work in the firms but rather to those who supply capital to the firm, or their representatives.** (338-39). Bowles, Samuel (2004). Microeconomics.
Behavior, Institutions and Evolution. Princeton University Press._______________________________________________
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Received on Sat Sep 12 07:02:35 2009

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