Introduction: The Broader View

Mancur Olson and Satu Kähkönen

in A Not-so-dismal Science

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198294900
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596728 | DOI:
 Introduction: The Broader View

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This introduction to the book discusses the reasons for the expansion of economic thinking into the other social sciences, and argues that an integrated concept of economics and social sciences is not only possible but is indispensable. This is because there is no other way to do justice to the integrated lives of individuals and their choices in trading off objectives in the traditional domains of different disciplines, and no other way to understand all the options for (and implications of) human ambition. Thomas Carlyle's attitude to economics as the ‘dismal science’ is then outlined. The chapter goes on to discuss the content of each of the ten succeeding chapters in detail, under five main headings: broader theories of the firm and the state; the structure of incentives in the modern welfare state; ethnic conflict, discrimination, and coordination in social groups; the state versus the market; and theory, ideology, and cumulative research.

Keywords: discrimination; economics; ethnic conflict; incentives; integration; markets; social sciences; welfare state

Chapter.  16546 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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