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Freedom, Capitalism and Human Behavior Chapter 1. Introduction And Overview

Michael C. Jensen

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


This book covers three separate and related topics: the definition and analysis of freedom, the logical foundations of capitalism and a dualistic model of human behavior that incorporates both rational and non-rational action. I provide a new and clarifying view of each topic and analyze the deep interdependencies between them. Some of the intellectual foundations of this material were developed in conjunction with William Meckling who passed away last year. In the 1970's and 1980's while Bill and I were colleagues at the University of Rochester we spent much time considering the issues associated with the meaning of freedom and the difficulties of encouraging and obtaining effective peaceful cooperation among human beings. I believe Bill would sign on to much of what is contained in the first two parts of this book on freedom and capitalism. But he was not anxious to sign on to the implications of the work in the last decade by myself and others on the human brain and the non-rational behavior of human beings that is dealt with in Part III of this book.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: freedom, capitalism, brain, behavior, special interests

JEL Classification: A00, H00, K00

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Date posted: October 19, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Michael C., Freedom, Capitalism and Human Behavior Chapter 1. Introduction And Overview (1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=638702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.638702

Contact Information

Michael C. Jensen (Contact Author)
Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc. ( email )
7858 Sanderling Road
Sarasota, FL 34242
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305 675-3166 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=9

Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field
Negotiations, Organizations & Markets
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305-675-3166 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=6484

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )
B-1050 Brussels
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