Comparative economics and the mainstream
Keywords:system paradigm, neoclassical synthesis, institutional economics, socialist economy
AbstractThis essay reviews the complex love-hate relationship between comparative economics, as represented by its most outstanding representative, János Kornai, and mainstream economics, based on rational expectations and general equilibrium theorizing, as represented by Kenneth Arrow and his disciples Paul Samuelson, Olivier Blanchard and the New Keynesian line adopted by the IMF under his reign. The ultimate question is why the interaction has not been more productive and direct over the decades? Why has the post-communist era not brought about a rapprochement? The essay reviews major milestones presented in academic volumes in the oeuvre of Kornai through the decades. It highlights a special form of microfounded macroeconomics, whose epistemological features are distinct from that of the neoclassical synthesis.
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