An Analytical Core for Sociolgy: A Complex, Hayekian Analysis
Review of Behavioral Economics, Forthcoming
24 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 11, 2014
This paper develops a Hayekian perspective on Herbert Gintis, and Dirk Helbing's, attempts to develop a unified analytical approach to the social sciences. Like Hayek, Gintis and Helbing view both the economy, and also the human mind, as a complex adaptive system. Their emphasis on emergence, on group selection, on the social relations that structure people’s interactions, and on the importance of motivations stemming from so-called 'social preferences', sees them develop themes present in Hayek's own work, often in ways that build on and strengthen Hayek's own analysis. However, Gintis and Helbing's continued commitment to a model of people as maximising their expected utility, and to general equilibrium theory, arguably leaves them less able than Hayek to do justice to the importance of innovation, novelty and radical uncertainty in the economic process.
Keywords: Gintis, complexity, evolution, emergence, Hayek, reductionism, behavioral economics, equilibrium, order, uncertainty.
JEL Classification: A10, A12, A13, B10, B31, D00.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation