By Michael C. Carroll (auth.)
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Additional info for A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner
To him, traditional economic science does not address the essential social dimension or the historical nature of true economic systems. For this reason, he has little use for general equilibrium models which can only be solved by assuming instantaneous adjustments. The market mechanism is a social construct which contains a collection of cultural and institutional elements such as social and political organization. These fundamental elements change through time. If economic science is to have relevance then it must account for this evolution.
In any given instance most would agree that a particular individual may deviate from their normal rational behaviour if faced with unusual or unfamiliar circumstances. The abstracted 'ideal human' has not been without its critics. Many feel that human action is much too complex to be represented in such a limited fashion and to attempt to do so is an unconscionable simplification. It actually limits our understanding of any social question. If we know the behaviours before we begin then the results are theological.
It must be able to answer questions such as: Where are we going? How did we get here? What has to change to get there? For economic pedagogies to be successful: They must trace the rise of the market system from other integrative mechanisms - I would think that the middle portion of Karl 32 A Future of Capitalism Polanyi's The Great Transformation would be required reading in any introductory course. It is essential to show by concrete instance that the economy, with its familiar behavioural ways, is an outgrowth of history, not an institution of unchanging human nature; and that it will experience further historical change whose course is difficult to foresee but is not, for that reason to be left unexamined.
A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner by Michael C. Carroll (auth.)