The Oxford Handbook of Polictical Economy
THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, Barry R. Weingast, Donald Wittman, eds., Oxford University Press, September 2006
Posted: 30 Jun 2008
Date Written: September 2006
Over its long lifetime, "political economy" has had manydifferent meanings: the science of managing the resources of a nation so as to provide wealth to its inhabitants for Adam Smith; the study of how the ownership of the means of production influenced historical processes for Marx; the study of the inter-relationship between economics and politics for some twentieth-century commentators; and for others, a methodology emphasizing individual rationality (the economic or "public choice" approach) or institutional adaptation (the sociological version). This Handbook views political economy as a grand (if imperfect) synthesis of these various strands, treating political economy as the methodology of economics applied to the analysis of political behavior and institutions.
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