Comparative and Historical Perspectives in Economic Sociology
The Handbook of Economic Sociology, p. 26, 2005
24 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2005
Students of economic behavior have long subscribed to the common sense view that natural laws govern economic life. In the discipline of economics, the prevailing view is that economic behavior is determined exogenously, by a force outside of society, rather than endogenously, by forces within. Self-interest is that force, and it is exogenous to society because it is inborn-part of human nature. Self-interest guides human behavior toward the most efficient means to particular ends. If economic behavior is instinctual, the reasoning goes, we need to know little about society to predict behavior.
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