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About this product
- DescriptionMainstream ecomics was founded on many strong assumptions. Institutions and politics were treated as irrelevant, government as exogeus, social rms as epiphemena. As an initial gambit this was fine. But as the horizons of ecomic inquiry have broadened, these assumptions have become hindrances rather than aids. If we want to understand why some ecomies succeed and some fail, why some governments are effective and others t, why some communities prosper while others stagnate, it is essential to view ecomics as embedded in politics and society. Prelude to Political Ecomy is a study of this embeddedness; it argues for an 'inclusive' approach to institutions and the state. Modern ecomics recognizes that individuals' pursuit of their own selfish ends can result in socially suboptimal outcomes - the Prisoner's Dilemma being the stark example. It has been suggested that what we need in such an eventuality is 'third-party' intervention, which can take the form of imposing punishment on players. Kaushik Basu objects to this method of wishing third parties out of thin air. He argues that if a third party that could impose its will on others were available, then it should have been modeled as a player to start with. The adoption of such an inclusive approach has implications for our conception of the state and the law. It means that the law cant be construed as a factor that changes the game that citizens play. It is instead simply a set of beliefs of citizens; and, as such, it is similar to social rms. What the law does for an ecomy, so can social rms. The book discusses how the nature of policy advice and our conception of state power are affected by this altered view of the state and the law. As corollaries, the book addresses a variety of important social and philosophical questions, such as whether the state should guarantee freedom of speech, whether determinism is compatible with free will, and whether the free market can lead to coercion.
- Author BiographyKaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and holds the C. Marks Chair in the Department of Economics at Cornell University. He has been Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, Princeton University (1989-91), Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1985-6), and Professor, Delhi School of Economics (1985-94). He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics on choice theory and welfare economics, and has published extensively in the areas of game theory, development economics, and industrial organization. His books include Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited (MIT Press).
- Author(s)Kaushik Basu
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication13/02/2003
- SubjectEconomics: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintOxford University Press
- Content Notenumerous figures
- Weight434 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine15 mm
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