Sickonomics: Diagnoses and Remedies
Geoffrey Hodgson ()
Review of Social Economy, 2011, vol. 69, issue 3, 357-376
In their recent analysis of the alleged decay in modern economics, Ben Fine and Dimitris Milonakis claim to find its source and origin in the “marginal revolution” of the 1870s. They argue that this development led to “methodological individualism” and the detachment of economics from society and history. I contest their account of the marginal revolution and of the role of Alfred Marshall among others. They also fail to provide an adequate definition of methodological individualism. I suggest that neoclassical economics adopted a denuded concept of the social rather than removing these factors entirely. No such removal is possible in principle. It is also mistaken to depict neoclassical economics as the science of prices and the market. In truth, neoclassical economics fails to capture the true nature of markets. I consider some sketch an alternative explanation of the sickness of modern economics, which focuses on institutional developments since World War II.
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