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The Institutional Theory of John R. Commons

Wisconsin, Labor, Income, and Institutions: Contributions from Commons and Bronfenbrenner

ISBN: 978-1-78052-010-0, eISBN: 978-1-78052-011-7

ISSN: 0743-4154

Publication date: 1 June 2011

Abstract

Neoclassic economics is a thing of considerable beauty. It yet finds an increasing tendency on the part of those trained in its discipline to rebel from its neatly fitted abstractions and intriguing diagrams. The rebellion stems from two sources. Veblen's sweeping attacks upon its postulates16 shock its theoretical foundations. The rapid changes in the industrial and business world discredited it on another front by bringing into increasingly sharp relief the divergence between the institutional assumptions of the orthodox theory and the conditions actually obtaining. The giant corporation, overhead costs, and the necessity for maintenance of volume, industrial concentration, the trade association, a widening spread among income classes, advertising, the growing inability of the consumer to gauge quality, the resort to reorganization instead of the “going out of business” of the long-run analyses – what place could the orthodox theory give to these important characteristics of the existing business economy?

Citation

Winslow Gardner, W. (2011), "The Institutional Theory of John R. Commons", Johnson, M. and Samuels, W.J. (Ed.) Wisconsin, Labor, Income, and Institutions: Contributions from Commons and Bronfenbrenner (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 29 Part 3), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 13-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-4154(2011)000029C009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited