Post-crisis Economics

De afgelopen 10 jaar heb ik gewerkt aan een boek over de relatie tussen economie, psychologie en sociologie. Het komend jaar zal Oxford University Press het resultaat publiceren.

Post-crisis Economics

When the global economy was hit by a severe financial crisis, mainstream economists were surprised. The global financial system appeared very fragile, especially in the North-western world. Now – five years later – the European economy is still in a depression. The unemployment figures, especially in the Southern part are unacceptably high, and there are no clear signs that we are at the brink of a new period. An important reason for the failure of Europeans to solve their economic problems can be found in the inadequacy of economic science as it manifests itself for a long time already. The official institutions like the central banks, the ministries of finance, and even the trade union organisations show a lack of vision. In The Netherlands prime-minister Rutte has no clue what to do, except the implementation of a classical-liberal programme: smaller governments!

About forty years now I work on an alternative vision of economic science. During the second half of the 60s I studied economics in Groningen (NL). Because I was disappointed about the lack of realism of the theories, which were taught, I attended many lectures, organised by different Faculties: philosophy, psychology, sociology, political science. After having defended my PhD (on inflation) I went to the University of Maastricht. During the nineties I came in the middle of a conservative revolution, meant to install a regime of education and research, which was based on classical-liberal ideas and econometric techniques. The ideas remained undiscussed, and the emphasis on quantitative methods led to the impoverishment of the content of the programmes. Almost all economists are disappeared: discouraged or fired. New talents are not educated, and we face a strong growth in numbers of non-economists, who are doing the daily work: producing meaningless numbers, and drawing unacceptable policy conclusions from their silent numbers. In 2004 I left Maastricht, because of all the pressure to adapt to The System. In Utrecht I got the opportunity to teach economic methodology. For me this was the start of a new life. I was paid for only 30% ,and I used the time left for the making of a Grand Tour through all the fields of study, which are important for an economist to become a good economist. Now – almost ten years later – I finish a book, which gives an overview of all the relevant analysis in economics (orthodoxy as well as heterodoxy), psychology and sociology. The book focusses on the methodological aspects, and is meant to offer a significant extension or even an outright transformation of orthodox analysis. Economists can learn a lot from heterodoxy and from psychology and sociology. The book ends with the presentation of a new and integrated human scientific paradigm, and makes a start with a series of integrated analyses. Important concepts, such as technology, institutions, control, rationality, morality and openness, placed in an integrated context get new meaning.

The book starts with an exposition of the very basics of philosophy of science, and gives an overview of the origin and development of economics and sociology. Throughout the book all the analysis and theory is illustrated with many practical examples. Of course the current crisis is a rich source in this respect.

The publisher – Oxford University Press – plans to publish the book in summer 2014. According to me the book must be considered as a new start for economics as a scientific discipline, which is about human behaviour. Logic and mathematics are important instruments. They are especially useful in the hands of people, who are aware of their scope, including their limits.

Every academic, who passed an introductory course in economics, is invited to educate him-or herself in what I call Multidisciplinary economics. To me the economic crisis should function as a trigger for economists to re-orient themselves and to develop analyses based on the fundamental insights of centuries on philosophy, economics, psychology and sociology. Therefore a nick name for the book could be Post-crisis Economics.

Title of the book:

Piet Keizer, Multidisciplinary Economics, A Methodological Account, Oxford University Press, 2014; about 500 pages.

Table of Content                                                                                            


Part I Science, Social Science, Economics

  1. 1.      Introduction
  2. 2.      The Character of Science

2.1  Practical Problems and Primitive Solutions

2.2  Western Science as a Product of Modernity

2.3  Modern Philosophy of Science

2.4  Twentieth-century Philosophy of Science

2.5  Three Philosophical Questions

2.6  Modernity and Post-modernity

2.7  Causality and Reason

2.8  The Structure of Knowledge

2.9  Strategies of Specialisation

2.10         The Organisation of Human Science

2.11         Methodological Pluralism


  1. 3.      Genesis and Development of Economics and Sociology

3.1  Introduction

3.2  Modern Moral Philosophy as the Foundation of Social Science

3.3  The Emergence of Classical Political Economy

3.4  From Classical Political Economy to Orthodox and Neoclassical Economics

3.5  The Institutionalist Critique of Neoclassical Economics

3.6  From Classical Political Economy to Classical Sociology

3.7  Economics in the Interbellum: The Macro Revolution of Keynes

3.8  Post-war Economic Growth in Western Europe

Part II Economics

II.1 Introduction

II.2 The Ontological Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Economics

II.3 Ecology

  1. 4.      Orthodox Microeconomics

4.1  Introduction

4.2  The Economic World

4.3  Orthodox Microeconomic Analysis

4.3.1        Demand and Supply

4.3.2        Perfect Competition

4.3.3        Non-individual Goods and Externalities

4.3.4        Towards a More Realistic Analysis of the Economic World

4.3.5        Imperfectly Competitive Market Structures


4.4  New Institutional Economics

4.4.1        Introduction

4.4.2        Property Rights

4.4.3        The Market as an Institution

4.4.4        Governance Structures

4.4.5        The Revival of Original Institutional Economics

4.5  Public Choice

4.5.1        Introduction

4.5.2        Direct Democracy

4.5.3        Representative Democracy

4.5.4        Bureaucracy

4.5.5        Interest Groups

4.5.6        Imperfectly Informed Actors in the Public World

4.5.7        New Political Macro Economy


  1. 5.      Orthodox Macroeconomics

5.1  Introduction

5.2  Business Cycles and Inflation

5.3  Orthodox Growth Theory

5.4  Neoclassical Empirical Research

5.4.1        Economics as an Empirical Science

5.4.2        Econometrics

5.5  Economic Growth, Happiness and the Good Life

5.6  Academic Education of Economics

5.7  Epilogue: the Crisis as a Turning Point?


Heterodox Economics

  1. 6.      Evolution and Entrepreneurship, an Evolutionary and an Austrian View

6.1  Introduction

6.2  Evolutionary Economics

6.2.1        Introduction

6.2.2        The Darwinian Natural Selection Model

6.2.3        Selection in the World After the Emergence of Humans

6.2.4        Economics of Technological Change

6.2.5        The Return of Original Institutional Economics

6.2.6        The Future of Evolutionary Economics

6.3  Austrian Economics

6.3.1        Introduction

6.3.2        Praxeology and Historical Development

6.3.3        Subjectivism

6.3.4        Market as a Competitive Process

6.3.5        Institutionalisation of Free Markets

6.3.6        The Calculation Debate

6.3.7        Schumpeter as a Special Case

6.3.8        Austrian Macroeconomics

6.3.9        Conclusion


  1. 7.      Radical Economics

7.1  Introduction

7.2  The Economics of Marx

Intermezzo A Very Concise History of Continental Europe: 1850-1950

7.3  Current Radical Economics

7.4  A Radical View on the Financial Crisis 2008

7.5  Conclusion


  1. 8.      Post-Keynesian Economics

8.1  Introduction

8.2  The Methodology of Keynes

8.3  The Economic Analysis of Keynes

8.4  Neoclassical Reactions on the Analysis of Keynes

8.5  Leijonhufvud’s Idea of the Corridors

8.6  New Keynesian Economics

8.7  Post-Keynesian Economics

8.7.1        Introduction

8.7.2        The Macro Goods Market

8.7.3        The Macro Labour Market

8.7.4        The Macro Financial Market

8.7.5        The Post-Keynesian Position in the Crisis Debate

8.7.6        Conclusion


  1. Social Economics

9.1  Introduction

9.2  The Methodology of Social Economics

9.3  Institutions

9.3.1        Introduction

9.3.2        Greif about Culture and Institutions

9.3.3        Aalbers (et al) about the Securitisation Revolution

9.3.4        Elinor Ostrom about the Diversity of Institutions

9.3.5        Acemoglu about Economic Power and Institutions

9.3.6        Dolfsma and Spithoven about Silent Trade

9.4  Socio-Economics

9.4.1        Introduction

9.4.2        Van der Lippe and Siegers about the Labour Division between Husband and Wife

9.4.3        Schenk about the Mergers & Acquisitions Wave

9.4.4        Keizer about Over-optimistic Ideologies and Attitudes

9.5  The Philosophical Roots of Social Economics

9.5.1        Introduction

9.5.2        Sen on Rationality

9.5.3        Sen on the Financial and Economic Crisis

9.6 Conclusion


Part III Psychology for Economists

  1. 10.  Psychology for Economists

10.1         Introduction

10.2         The Origin of Psychology

10.3         Perspectives in Psychology

10.3.1    Introduction

10.3.2    The Cognitive Approach

10.3.3    The Behaviourist Approach

10.3.4    The Psycho-dynamic Approach

10.3.5    The Humanist Approach

10.3.6    The Biological Approach

10.3.7    The Social-psychological Approach

10.4         Behavioural Economics

10.4.1    A General Overview

10.4.2    Neuroeconomics

10.4.3    Cognitive Science

10.5         The Social Factor

10.6         The Psychic World


Appendix  Do the Germans Have a Monetary Trauma?


Part IV Sociology for Economists


  1. 11.  Macro and Micro Approaches in Sociology

11.1         Functionalism versus the Conflict Approach

11.1.1    Functionalism

11.1.2    The Conflict Approach

11.2         Micro-Sociological Approaches

11.2.1    Introduction

11.2.2    Symbolic Interactionism

11.2.3    Exchange, Network and Rational Choice Analysis

11.3         The Relationship between Micro and Macro Analysis

Box: The Emergence of the System of Dutch Labour Relations


Appendix 11.1 Practical Problems and the Framing of their Situation

Appendix 11.2 A Social Scientific Discourse


  1. 12.  The Historical Approach in Sociology

12.1         Introduction

12.2         Two Interpretations of the History of Mankind

12.3         Modernity

12.3.1    Introduction

12.3.2    The Juggernaut

12.3.3    The Holocaust

12.3.4     Habermas’ Way Out

12.3.5    Globalisation: Problem or Solution

12.4         From Structuralism to Post-Structuralism and Post-modernity

12.4.1    Structuralism and Post-structuralism

12.4.2    Post-modernity

12.4.3    Post-social Theory

12.5         Conclusions


  1. 13.  Multidisciplinary Sociology and The Social World

13.1         Introduction

13.2         Psychological Sociology

13.2.1    Introduction

13.2.2    Group-Based Hierarchies: psychological, social-psychological and social-structural explanations

Box: European Union and Rivalry

13.3         Economic Sociology

13.3.1    Introduction

13.3.2    New Economic Sociology

13.3.3    Culture Matters

13.3.4    Sociology of Labour Markets

13.3.5    Sociology of Financial Markets

13.3.6    Networks in Economic Life

Methodological Assessment

13.4         The Social World

13.4.1    Introduction

13.4.2    The Axioms of the Social World

13.4.3    The Technique of Producing Status in the Social World

13.4.4    Us versus Them

13.4.5    The Moral Constraint

13.4.6    Social Desire and Economic Need

13.4.7    Irrational Persons and Irrational Societies


Part V Towards an Integration of the Three worlds

V.1 Introduction

V.2 Technology and Institution

V.3 Historicity

V.4 Ecology

V.5 Openness of Systems

V.6 Macro Analysis


  1. 14.  Integration of the Three Worlds

14.1         The Economic World

14.2         The Social World

14.3         The Psychic World

14.4         The Psychic-economic World

14.5         The Social-economic World

14.6         The Psychic-social World

14.7         The Psychic-economic-social World


  1. 15.  Applications of the Multi-motivational Framework of Interpretation

15.1         Discrimination as an Economic Cost

15.2         A Cost-Benefit Analysis of (In)Equality

15.3         Four More or Less Persistent Systems

15.4         Meaning of Concepts in the MDE-World

15.4.1    Utilities (preferences), resources and technology

15.4.2    Rationality

15.4.3    Morality

15.4.4    Institutions

15.4.5    Ecology

15.4.6    The Openness of Systems

15.4.7    Macro Analysis

15.4.8    Parsimony

Part VI Conclusions

  1. 16.  Conclusions


  1. The Logical World
  2. Kant for Economists
  3. Jung for Economists
  4. Adam Smith as the Founding Father of Multidisciplinary Economics



Name Index

Subject Index




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