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Political economy is a term in wide use and has been for centuries. Yet standard economic theory reduces politics to ethics or economics. This reduction is enabled by the…
Political economy is a term in wide use and has been for centuries. Yet standard economic theory reduces politics to ethics or economics. This reduction is enabled by the presumption of closed choice data or given utility and cost functions. In this conceptual framework, the political vanishes into an activity of preference satisfaction according to a welfare function (ethics) or into trade (economics). To bring the political back to life within a theory of political economy requires that closed schemes of thought be replaced by open schemes. The ways in which individuals react to the indeterminacy of their subjective choice data, in innocuous small-scale settings as well as in situations of dramatic exception to constitutional rules, separates them into leaders and followers. Followership creates an opportunity for political enterprise at the social level (enterprise in rules) and at the subjective level (enterprise in visions of options, and hence preferences). At both levels the political comes to the fore of political economy as an answer to the “challenge of exception.” Much of our inspiration for this argument traces to the work of Friedrich Wieser, Carl Schmitt, and Vincent Ostrom.
This paper explores the interface between institutional theory and Austrian theory. We examine mainstream institutionalism as exemplified by D. C. North in his work with…
This paper explores the interface between institutional theory and Austrian theory. We examine mainstream institutionalism as exemplified by D. C. North in his work with Wallis and Weingast on the elite compact theory of social order and of transitions to impersonal rights, and propose instead an Austrian process-oriented perspective. We argue that mainstream institutionalism does not fully account for the efficiency of impersonal rules. Their efficiency can be better explained by a market for rules, which in turn requires a stable plurality of governance providers. Since an equilibrium of plural providers requires stable power polycentricity, the implication goes against consolidating organized means for violence as a doorstep condition to successful transitions. The paper demonstrates how to employ Ostroms’ Bloomington School Institutionalism to shift, convert, and recalibrate mainstream institutionalism's themes into an Austrian process-oriented theory.
The purpose of this paper is to integrate a detailed theory of perception and action with a theory of entrepreneurship. It considers how new knowledge is developed by entrepreneurs and how the level of creativity is regulated by a competitive system. It also shows how new knowledge may create value for the innovator as well as for other entrepreneurs in the system.
The theory builds on existing literature on creativity and entrepreneurship. It considers how transformation of mental technologies occurs at the individual and system levels, and how this transformation influences value creation.
Under a competitive system, the level of creativity is regulated by the need for new ways of doing things. Periods of crisis wherein old means of coordination begin to fail often precipitate an increase in creativity, whereas a lack of crisis often allows the system to settle to a stable equilibrium with lower levels of creativity.
The combination of methodology and methods facilitates a description of discrete building blocks that guide perception and enable creativity. This framing enables consideration of how a changing set of knowledge interacts with a system of prices.
Policy makers must take care not to encumber markets with costs that unnecessarily constrain creativity, as experimentation makes the economic system robust to shocks.
This work provides a framing of cognition that allows for a linking of agent understanding that permits explicit description of coordination between agents. It relates perception and ends of the individual to constraints enforced by the social system.
As far as the author is concerned, no other work ties together a robust framing of cognition with computational simulation of market processes. This research deepens understanding in multiple fields, most prominently for agent-based modeling and entrepreneurship.