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

Abstract

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

Lewis, Paul Andrew, An Analytical Core for Sociolgy: A Complex, Hayekian Analysis (November 11, 2014). Review of Behavioral Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2522810

Paul Andrew Lewis (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

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+44 0 20 7848 3970 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/people/academic/lewis.aspx

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