Microeconomics : Neoclassical and Institutionalist Perspectives on Economic Behaviour

Microeconomics : Neoclassical and Institutionalist Perspectives on Economic Behaviour

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  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9781861525390
  • DDC分類 330

Full Description


In economics the dominant framework for exploring the structure of market economies is provided by the neoclassical school of thought. This text aims to show how neoclassical theory is used to model market mechanisms, both in particular markets and in the market economy as a whole. Underpinning this analysis is an examination of what neoclassical economists regard as key decision makers in a market economy, namely households and firms. In analysing these demand and supply activities, this text aims to provide an introduction to the microeconomics of markets, that is, the behaviour of individual units of economic activity. However, individuals do not behave as independent entities in the economy. They make economic decisions in the context of a variety of institutional structures. The text presents an alternative to neoclassicism by introducing the institutionalist perspective of economic thought. In this approach the social interactions between individuals are placed at the heart of economic activity. Perspectives are presented as a critique of neoclassical economics by providing an appraisal of neoclassical theory and developing an alternative.

Table of Contents

        List of Contributors                       viii
Acknowledgements ix
Preface xi
Introduction: Neoclassical and 1 (26)
Institutionalist Perspectives
Introduction 2 (2)
Neoclassical economics 4 (9)
Institutional economics 13 (5)
Differences between the schools of thought 18 (3)
Conclusion 21 (6)
Consumption
Consumer Sovereignty 27 (32)
Introduction 28 (1)
The neoclassical theory of consumption 29 (12)
The structure of the demand curve 41 (6)
Questioning the assumptions of consumer 47 (9)
theory
Conclusion 56 (3)
Consumer Dependency 59 (26)
Introduction 60 (1)
Conspicuous consumption 61 (1)
Case studies in marketing and consumption 62 (6)
Implications for neoclassical theory 68 (2)
Problems with conspicuous consumption 70 (2)
The theory of `Distinction' 72 (6)
Want creation by institutions 78 (2)
Conclusion 80 (5)
Measuring Welfare: Are People Better off? 85 (28)
Introduction 86 (2)
Utility in the development of welfare 88 (4)
economics
The measurement of household well-being 92 (7)
Equivalence scales 99 (4)
Agency conceptions of human flourishing 103 (3)
Are judgements of well-being objective or 106 (2)
socially generated?
Conclusion 108 (5)
Households
The Household in the Economy 113 (30)
Introduction 114 (2)
Neoclassical approaches to household 116 (7)
decision making
The division of labour within the household 123 (9)
The institutional economics of the household 132 (7)
Where next? 139 (4)
Decision Making in Households 143 (36)
Introduction 144 (2)
Decision making based on household utility 146 (7)
functions
Co-operative and non-co-operative household 153 (15)
decision making
The models compared 168 (5)
Gender and power in the household 173 (6)
Caring for Children 179 (26)
Introduction 180 (1)
Case study: declining fertility in the 181 (3)
Mediterranean countries of Europe
Explaining care 184 (9)
Changing norms 193 (6)
Understanding change 199 (6)
Firms
Modelling the Firm 205 (22)
Introduction 206 (1)
The case of Digital Equipment Corporation 207 (1)
Neoclassical theories of firms' behavior 208 (7)
New institutionalism and the boundaries of 215 (3)
the firm
`Old' institutionalism and evolutionary 218 (5)
theory
Conclusion 223 (4)
Contracts, Information and Firms' Behaviour 227 (22)
Introduction: contracts and markets 228 (1)
Time and contracts: short- and long-term 229 (4)
contracting
Incomplete information and contracting 233 (8)
behaviour
Incomplete information: incentives and 241 (4)
firms' objectives
Conclusion: contracting and firms' behaviour 245 (4)
Firms and Efficiency 249 (32)
Introduction: efficiency, competition and 250 (1)
strategy
Production techniques and the production 251 (9)
function
Choice of technique and scale by the 260 (10)
profit-maximizing firm
Static and dynamic efficiency of firms 270 (6)
Conclusion 276 (5)
A Strategic View of Competition 281 (32)
Introduction: the `cola wars' 282 (1)
Market structure and barriers to entry 283 (8)
Strategic entry deterrence 291 (5)
Strategy and market behaviour 296 (3)
Collusion 299 (6)
Trust 305 (4)
Conclusion 309 (4)
Labour
The Firm and the Labour Market 313 (38)
Introduction 314 (1)
The neoclassical approach to labour demand 315 (13)
Labour market equilibrium 328 (5)
Labour market adjustment 333 (8)
Influences on equilibrium unemployment 341 (6)
Conclusion 347 (4)
Discrimination and Segmentation 351 (30)
Introduction 352 (1)
Labour market disadvantage 352 (4)
Forms of discrimination 356 (1)
Neoclassical models of discrimination 357 (8)
Segmented labour markets 365 (8)
Feedback effects in the labour market 373 (5)
Conclusion 378 (3)
Trust and Control: Labour Use Within the Firm 381 (30)
Introduction 382 (1)
The distinctive characteristics of labour 383 (2)
Trust and control 385 (2)
New institutionalist theories of the 387 (4)
employment contract
Efficiency wages: discipline, supervision 391 (7)
and commitment
The theory of hierarchical control systems 398 (1)
New employer strategies towards labour 399 (3)
Conclusion 402 (9)
Technology and Finance
Technological change 411 (38)
Introduction 412 (1)
Technological change in the Industrial 413 (2)
Revolution
The production function, technological 415 (10)
change and economic growth
Technological change and general 425 (4)
equilibrium analysis
Linear models of innovation 429 (3)
The steam engine 432 (5)
An evolutionary view of technical change 437 (6)
Conclusion 443 (6)
Appendix: Solow's growth accounting model 444 (5)
Evolutionary Theories of Technological and 449 (26)
Economic Change
Introduction 450 (1)
Evolutionary theories of economic change 450 (15)
Path dependency and economic evolution 465 (6)
Methodological issues: theory and evidence 471 (2)
Conclusion: economic experiments and 473 (2)
economic growth
Financial Systems and Innovation 475 (18)
Introduction 476 (1)
Stock market-based and bank-based financial 477 (6)
systems
Financial systems and innovation 483 (2)
Innovation: differences among industries 485 (4)
Conclusion 489 (4)
Markets
Competitive General Equilibrium 493 (36)
Introduction 494 (1)
The Walrasian model 495 (4)
The determination of prices 499 (6)
Some more models of general equilibrium 505 (14)
Competitive equilibrium and welfare 519 (6)
economics
Conclusion 525 (4)
Social Markets 529 (28)
Introduction 530 (3)
`Managed markets' and `quasi-markets' in 533 (10)
health care
Private provision through public 543 (3)
contracting: auction markets in social goods
Making social markets work: social norms in 546 (6)
social markets
Conclusion 552 (5)
References 557 (14)
Index 571