Late Neoclassical Economics : The restoration of theoretical humanism in contemporary economic theory book cover
1st Edition

Late Neoclassical Economics
The restoration of theoretical humanism in contemporary economic theory

ISBN 9781138599345
Published April 27, 2018 by Routledge
218 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Several contemporary economic theories revolve around different concepts: market failures, institutions, transaction costs, information asymmetries, motivational diversity, cognitive limitations, strategic behaviors and evolutionary stability. In recent years, many economists have argued that the increase in circulation and mobilization of these new and heterogeneous concepts and their associated methodologies (e.g., experiments, evolutionary modelling, simulations) signify the death of neoclassical economics.


Late Neoclassical Economics: The Restoration of Theoretical Humanism in Contemporary Economic Theory draws on the work of Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault and the Amherst School, to construct the concept of a self-transparent and self-conscious human subject (Homo economicus) as the theoretical humanist core of the neoclassical tradition. Instead of identifying the emergent heterogeneity as a break from neoclassicism, this book offers a careful genealogy of many of the new concepts and approaches - including evolutionary game theory, experimental economics and behavioural economics - and reads their elaboration as part of the restoration of the theoretical humanist core of the tradition. ‘Late neoclassical economics’ is therefore characterized as a collection of diverse approaches which have emerged in response to the drift towards structuralism.


This book is suitable for those who study political economy, history of economic thought and philosophy of economics. The arguments put forward in this text will also resonate with anyone who is interested in the fate of the neoclassical tradition and the future of economic theory.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1: Introduction: Making Sense of an Emergent Heterogeneity

Chapter 2: Towards an anti-essentialist Marxian critique of theoretical humanism

Part 2: Neoclassical Economics: Under the Shadow of Structuralism

Chapter 3: Neoclassical Economics: Shedding "psychologism"

Chapter 4: Theoretical humanism in crisis: The case of Walrasian economics in the post-war period

Chapter 5: Theoretical humanism in the evolutionary mode: The case of the Chicago School in the post-war period.

Part 3: Late Neoclassical Economics: Restoration of Theoretical Humanism

Chapter 6: Breaking with Neoclassicism or Restoring Theoretical Humanism?

Chapter 7: Market Failures and Economic Institutions: Opening Black Boxes and Introducing Meta-Markets

Chapter 8: Motivational Diversity and Cognitive Limitations: Saving the human subject from its structuralist destitution

Chapter 9: Equilibrium and Efficiency: Searching for Social Reconciliation in Game Theoretic Contexts

Part 4: Conclusion

Chapter 10: Epilogue: The Real Divide in Economics

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Yahya M. Madra teaches Economics at Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. He has published and co-authored articles on various issues in political economy in both edited book volumes and journals.


'Late neoclassical economics may be more mature than neoclassical economics, but it is not different from neoclassical economics as it has been practiced before...Madra succeeds in presenting a very clear and concise thesis which is highly relevant and interesting. His argumentation is straightforward, convincing and precise. The leitmotiv of the investigation never gets lost.' - Thomas Domjahn, History of Economics Review