Engines, Ecologies, and Economic Systems

46 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016

See all articles by Giuseppe Eusepi

Giuseppe Eusepi

Sapienza University of Rome

Richard E. Wagner

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

Date Written: October 30, 2016

Abstract

This is the third of six chapters of the penultimate draft of a book titled Public Debt: An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy. This essay asks the reader to think whether an economy in its entirety is better construed as an engine or as an ecological system. By treating it as an engine, economists can pretend to be mechanics. Once an economy is recognized to be a complex ecological system, the mythology of global governance gives way to the reality of multiple sources of local governance. For democracies, there is no person who can reasonably be described as making choices for the regime. Instead, choices emerge out of processes of interaction among collections of people.

Keywords: economists as mechanics; economists as explainers; mythological thinking; realistic thinking

JEL Classification: D72, E30, E62, H62

Suggested Citation

Eusepi, Giuseppe and Wagner, Richard E., Engines, Ecologies, and Economic Systems (October 30, 2016). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 16-44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2861663

Giuseppe Eusepi

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano, 9
Rome, RM 00161
Italy
+39 06 49766955 (Phone)

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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