Institutional Economics: Property, Competition, Policies

Edward Elgar Publishing
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This thoroughly revised, extended and updated edition of a critically acclaimed textbook provides an accessible and cohesive introduction to the burgeoning discipline of institutional economics. Requiring only a basic understanding of economics, this luci
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Additional Information

Publisher
Edward Elgar Publishing
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Published on
Jan 1, 2012
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Pages
578
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ISBN
9781781006634
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / International / Economics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Steven D. Levitt
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

Peter J. Boettke
The Austrian School of Economics is an intellectual tradition in economics and political economy dating back to Carl Menger in the late-19th century. Menger stressed the subjective nature of value in the individual decision calculus. Individual choices are indeed made on the margin, but the evaluations of rank ordering of ends sought in the act of choice are subjective to individual chooser. For Menger, the economic calculus was about scarce means being deployed to pursue an individual's highest valued ends. The act of choice is guided by subjective assessments of the individual, and is open ended as the individual is constantly discovering what ends to pursue, and learning the most effective way to use the means available to satisfy those ends. This school of economic thinking spread outside of Austria to the rest of Europe and the United States in the early-20th century and continued to develop and gain followers, establishing itself as a major stream of heterodox economics. The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics provides an overview of this school and its theories. The various contributions discussed in this book all reflect a tension between the Austrian School's orthodox argumentative structure (rational choice and invisible hand) and its addressing of a heterodox problem situations (uncertainty, differential knowledge, ceaseless change). The Austrian economists from the founders to today seek to derive the invisible hand theorem from the rational choice postulate via institutional analysis in a persistent and consistent manner. Scholars and students working in the field of History of Economic Thought, those following heterodox approaches, and those both familiar with the Austrian School or looking to learn more will find much to learn in this comprehensive volume.
Peter J. Boettke
The Austrian School of Economics is an intellectual tradition in economics and political economy dating back to Carl Menger in the late-19th century. Menger stressed the subjective nature of value in the individual decision calculus. Individual choices are indeed made on the margin, but the evaluations of rank ordering of ends sought in the act of choice are subjective to individual chooser. For Menger, the economic calculus was about scarce means being deployed to pursue an individual's highest valued ends. The act of choice is guided by subjective assessments of the individual, and is open ended as the individual is constantly discovering what ends to pursue, and learning the most effective way to use the means available to satisfy those ends. This school of economic thinking spread outside of Austria to the rest of Europe and the United States in the early-20th century and continued to develop and gain followers, establishing itself as a major stream of heterodox economics. The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics provides an overview of this school and its theories. The various contributions discussed in this book all reflect a tension between the Austrian School's orthodox argumentative structure (rational choice and invisible hand) and its addressing of a heterodox problem situations (uncertainty, differential knowledge, ceaseless change). The Austrian economists from the founders to today seek to derive the invisible hand theorem from the rational choice postulate via institutional analysis in a persistent and consistent manner. Scholars and students working in the field of History of Economic Thought, those following heterodox approaches, and those both familiar with the Austrian School or looking to learn more will find much to learn in this comprehensive volume.
Paul Dragos Aligica
Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development demonstrates the importance of one of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics winners Elinor Ostrom's research program. The Bloomington School has become one of the most dynamic, well recognized and productive centers of the New Institutional Theory movement. Its ascendancy is considered to be the result of a unique and extremely successful combination of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and hard-nosed empiricism. This book demonstrates that the well-known interdisciplinary and empirical agenda of the Bloomington Research Program is the result of a less-known but very bold proposition: an attempt to revitalize and extend into the new millennium a traditional mode of analysis illustrated by authors like Locke, Montesquieu, Hume, Adam Smith, Hamilton, Madison and Tocqueville. As such, the School tries to synthesize the traditional perspectives with the contemporary developments in social sciences and thus to re-ignite the old approach in the new intellectual and political context of the twentieth century.

The book presents an outline and a systematic analysis of the vision behind the Bloomington Research Program in Institutional Analysis and Development, explaining its basic assumptions and its main themes as well as the foundational philosophy that frames its research questions and theoretical and methodological approaches.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of social science, especially those in the fields of economics, political sciences, sociology and public administration.

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