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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

Peter E. Earl and Neil M. Kay

The methodology of mainstream neoclassical economics deals with knowledge deficiency problems in a deterministic manner and as “refinements to the theory of economic action rather…

120

Abstract

The methodology of mainstream neoclassical economics deals with knowledge deficiency problems in a deterministic manner and as “refinements to the theory of economic action rather than rudiments of it” (Coddington, 1975, p. 151). For Shackle (1972), such an approach to the subject is unacceptable, since its deterministic nature is fundamentally at odds with his argument that, to be meaningful, choice must make a difference to the unfolding skein of events. Central to his view of the nature of choice is clearly a rejection of the concept of equilibrium and of the assumptive fiction that co‐ordination is achieved, on a once‐and‐for‐all basis, via the costless efforts of an omniscient auctioneer. If choices are meaningful in Shackle's sense, the skein of events contains many surprises, many incentives for agents to rethink their views of things and change their behaviour. For example, the workings of a multiplier process falsify expectations and these surprises may then spark off euphoric or depressing super‐multiplier effects. In markets for financial assets, “bulls” and “bears” cannot both be right in their predictions, while in product markets the creative exercise of marketing and research and development personnel's imaginations may continuously send out waves and backwashes in keeping with Schumpeterian notions of creative destruction. If one accepts Shackle's alternative starting point, one must sacrifice notions pertaining to “given” preferences and technologies and, with them, the stable functions upon which IS‐LM macro models (see Shackle, 1982(a)) and orthodox value theory are built.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 12 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2003

Peter E Earl

This paper attempts to recast the entrepreneur by synthesizing ideas from personal construct psychology and systems-based evolutionary economics. It retains an Austrian…

Abstract

This paper attempts to recast the entrepreneur by synthesizing ideas from personal construct psychology and systems-based evolutionary economics. It retains an Austrian subjectivist emphasis but focuses on rapid product innovation rather than arbitrage. Profit opportunities are mental constructs that link products and revenue streams. Entrepreneurs develop new products by forming novel connections between existing product elements and diverse technologies, mindful of the connections between these products and the complex structures of consumer lifestyles. These linkages are often formed in the context of large multi-product firms, as well as being the basis of new enterprises, so entrepreneurship overlaps with strategic management.

Details

Austrian Economics and Entrepreneurial Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-226-9

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Peter E. Earl

It is argued on the basis of ideas from personal construct psychology that people feel attached, or desire strongly to become attached, to particular consumption pathways because…

Abstract

It is argued on the basis of ideas from personal construct psychology that people feel attached, or desire strongly to become attached, to particular consumption pathways because they judge that to do otherwise would carry “implications” of a predominantly negative kind with respect to their abilities to make sense of the complex and uncertain world around them. It is noted that information‐processing problems may make it impossible for consumers to compute the overall implications of alternative strategies when market conditions change. Hence they may use simplifying decision procedures which may conflict with the principle of substitution.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Peter E. Earl

Purpose – This paper examines Hayek's view of the mind to see if it provides a useful and unifying foundation for understanding both deliberative choices that involve conscious…

Abstract

Purpose – This paper examines Hayek's view of the mind to see if it provides a useful and unifying foundation for understanding both deliberative choices that involve conscious information processing (the ‘economic imagination’) and choices that are not determined by conscious processes such as those involving ‘gut feelings’ or knowledge that the chooser is unable to articulate (the ‘tacit dimension’).

Methodology/approach – The paper analyses Hayek's view of the mind from the standpoint of evolutionary economics and biology. Because of the significance of pattern detection in Hayek's analysis, the paper examines parallels with key ideas in personal construct psychology and artificial intelligence. As well as exploring the evolutionary advantages of behavior based on programmed responses to the detection of particular patterns, it also explores possible evolutionary and neural origins of dysfunctional heuristics and biases.

Findings – Hayek's theory of the mind provides useful foundations for analyzing choice in a evolving, pluralistic and context-based manner rather than seeing all choices as made in much the same way on the basis of ‘given preferences’ that obey the axioms of rational choice theory. His theory complements work in psychological economics based on Kelly's personal construct psychology, cognitive dissonance theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The analysis leads to questions being raised about the conventional faith in the notion of a diminishing marginal rate of substitution.

Originality/value of paper – The paper shows how very different ways of choosing can be understood in terms of Hayek's analysis of the mind.

Details

The Social Science of Hayek's ‘The Sensory Order’
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-975-6

Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2007

Andreas Chai, Peter E. Earl and Jason Potts

The task of this paper is to explore the interplay between fashion, consumer lifestyles and economic growth in the context of a world of technological change in which the menu of…

Abstract

The task of this paper is to explore the interplay between fashion, consumer lifestyles and economic growth in the context of a world of technological change in which the menu of possibilities that consumers face is constantly changing and tending to increase in length. Our working definition of ‘fashion’ is simple, namely the tendency or behavioural norm of actors to adopt certain types or styles of customs or commodities nearly simultaneously, only to adopt a different type or style of custom or commodity in future periods. The demand spikes associated with fashion may pertain to newly introduced products or to products that have been around for some time; they may also occur in hybrid cases where a seemingly defunct product or genre is given a brief rebirth by being reincarnated in terms of a new technology.

Details

The Evolution of Consumption: Theories and Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1452-2

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Peter E. Earl

This paper aims to examine the role that academic publishers have historically played and how this is being undermined by the revolution in information and communications

785

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role that academic publishers have historically played and how this is being undermined by the revolution in information and communications technology. A central issue here is that of copyright. Although authors need to be protected against plagiarists, the main role of publishers' control over copyright is to generate profits for the publisher by limiting access.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores some open‐access models for academic publishing, the first involving a heterodox economics library portal and the second a more general open peer quality review site.

Findings

It identifies a residual role for commercial academic publishers in the new guise of fee‐for‐service providers of refereeing services, whose accreditations may accelerate the uptake of scholarly contributions.

Originality/value

The paper examines the role that academic publishers have historically played and how this is being undermined by the revolution in information and communications technology.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Peter E. Earl

203

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 26 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2002

Abstract

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-137-8

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2003

Abstract

Details

Austrian Economics and Entrepreneurial Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-226-9

Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2005

Abstract

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-316-7

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