Economic Coordination Across Divergent Institutional Frameworks: Dissolving a Theoretical Antinomy

33 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2015 Last revised: 7 Jan 2017

See all articles by Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: November 4, 2015

Abstract

Economic theory contains a significant theoretical antinomy. Markets are thought to secure coordination in self-organized fashion. In contrast, polities are portrayed as securing coordination through planning and administration. Doing this is to commit what Mitchel Resnick (1994) calls the “centralized mindset,” which is to attribute an observed order to some ordering agent. This paper seeks to dissolve this theoretical antinomy by explaining how the same coordinative principles are at work throughout a society. All societies operate in generally coordinated fashion, due to the operation of transactional processes within societies. Markets and polities both operate through transactional relationships, though political transactions are constructed somewhat differently than market transactions. This paper sets forth an approach to explaining coordination throughout a societal ecology where that coordination is achieved through different forms of transaction.

Keywords: economic coordination; self-organized systems; entangled political economy; invisible hands and fingers

JEL Classification: D23, D73, H44, L32

Suggested Citation

Podemska-Mikluch, Marta and Wagner, Richard E., Economic Coordination Across Divergent Institutional Frameworks: Dissolving a Theoretical Antinomy (November 4, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-46, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2686421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2686421

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College ( email )

800 West College Ave.
Saint Peter, MN Mn 56082
United States
(507) 933-6120 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.podemska.com

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rwagner/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/richard-wagner

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