The “Subtle Processes of Economic Reasoning”: Marshall, Becker, and Theorizing about Economic Man and Other-Regarding Behavior

A Research Annual

ISBN: 978-1-78441-858-8, eISBN: 978-1-78441-857-1

ISSN: 0743-4154

Publication date: 8 April 2015

Abstract

The question of whether, and to what extent, Chicago price theory is Marshallian is a large one, with many aspects. The theory of individual behavior is one of these, and the treatment of altruism, or, more generally, other-regarding behavior, falls within this domain. This chapter explores the analysis of other-regarding behavior in the work of Alfred Marshall and Gary Becker with a view to drawing out the similarities and differences in their respective approaches. What emerges is sense that we find in Becker’s work important commonalities with Marshall but also significant points of departure and that the line from Marshall to modern Chicago is neither as direct as it is sometimes portrayed, nor as faint as it is sometimes claimed by Chicago critics.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment

The financial support of the Earhart Foundation is gratefully acknowledged, as are the comments provided by the editor an anonymous referee for this journal.

Citation

Medema, S.G. (2015), "The “Subtle Processes of Economic Reasoning”: Marshall, Becker, and Theorizing about Economic Man and Other-Regarding Behavior", A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 43-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-415420150000033010

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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