The Economics of Order and Disorder: The Market as Organizer and Creator

The Economics of Order and Disorder: The Market as Organizer and Creator

The Economics of Order and Disorder: The Market as Organizer and Creator

The Economics of Order and Disorder: The Market as Organizer and Creator

Synopsis

This work analyzes the operation and demise of institutions in economics--starting with the notion of self-organization--taking into account the intervention of history, chance, necessity, and will. Beginning with the theory of microeconomics, Lesourne builds precise models based on explicit hypotheses and draws out the significance of the propositions obtained. Using systems, evolutionary and general equilibrium theories, as well as literature on institutional economics, Lesourne steps out of the present conceptual framework of microeconomics.

Excerpt

To the reader curious about the contents of this book, I propose a twofold answer. It is a book with a dual purpose. In the context of economic theory, it strives to bring out a paradigm capable of enlarging the set of interpretable facts, thanks to more pertinent models of interaction among the agents. It is, moreover, not a completed work but a work in the making. Its main objective is to stimulate research which might with time lead to a veritable reconstruction of micro-economic theory. This theory has, during the last half-century, progressed tremendously, thanks to the paradigm of neo-classical equilibrium. But it continues, by the very hypotheses of its models, to eliminate essential questions from the scope of reflection.

What have we, the economic theorists, to say about the economic development and decline of regions or nations? About the progressive polarization of geographic spaces? About the decline or success of enterprises? About the conditions necessary for the emergence of dominant firms? About the discovery and diffusion of innovations? About the perenniality or dynamic differentiation of markets? About the historic transformation of sociological, economic, and political modes of regulation? The lack of appropriate models makes it impossible for us to organize the vast knowledge collected in bits over two centuries on these broad subjects. Thus we can only falteringly answer the multiple questions which society puts to us: how can a nation be kept in the lead in a technology? Should it take a national policy of aid to research? Should ministries of industry be done away with? How can the decadence of a region or country be stopped? What is the use of a policy of national and regional development? How can underdevelopment be vanquished? Does opening up to the world market help a poor economy get off the ground?

All these questions have a common core. They all refer to forming behaviour, establishing relations among agents, drawing up rules, and elaborating institutions. In short, to the eventual emergence of an order, its adaptation, its transformation, its ultimate . . .

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