By Michael C. Carroll (auth.)
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Additional info for A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner
Economists must have some kind of assumptions about behaviour, and lacking anything better they continue to rest theory on an archaic maximization principle. If enough economists consistently state that more is better, then: The idea of maximization thereby gives a certain 'scientific' authority to textbook statements that the consumer who climbs to the peak of his indifference map is more 'satisfied' than the one who camps like a vagabond, on some lower contour, or that an economy with a high growth rate is 'better ofr than one with a lower rate.
This stringent use of logic allows the 24 A Future of Capitalism neoclassical economist to create very complete mathematical models of economic relationships. The level of abstraction and mathematical power create models which can successfully execute their intended goal; namely, the prediction of normal economic events. The neoclassical theorists are not interested in explaining how a society's economic system came into existence (they begin from a predetermined general equilibrium situation) nor are they concerned with explaining all the intricacies of unusual behaviour.
For economics to be central to social understanding, economic motivations must provide the primary dynamic to the system. THE DOMINANT SOCIAL ORDER As we move into the twenty-first century, capitalism will certainly be the dominant social order. Even though capitalism will survive, those familiar with Heilbroner's work will know that he has some reservations about the future of worldly philosophy. He has questioned on several occasions (Heilbroner 1953, Heilbroner 1992b) whether this approach will be compatible with modern capitalist systems.
A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner by Michael C. Carroll (auth.)