2002/03 LEM Working Paper Series

A Very Reasonable Objective Still Beyond Our Reach: Economics as an Empirically Disciplined Social Science
G. Dosi
Herbert Simon, Evolutionary Economics, Transaction Cost Economics, Bounded Rationality, Organization.

The paper discusses some fundamental features of the 'Simonian' research program inmicroeconomics and compare them with two streams of thought which find their roots into Simon'spathbreaking work since the '50s and '60s, namely Transaction Cost Economics and EvolutionaryEconomics. One argues that the latter is in a particularly promising position to advance toward thekind of empirically disciplined microeconomics advocated by Herbert Simon. It does so alsothrough painstaking attempts to operationalize the notion of 'bounded rationality' - in the broadestsense -, to make bridges with the microevidence from other social sciences - e.g. cognitive andsocial psychology, etc. -, and to "open up the organizational blackbox". And all that is undertakenoutside the straightjacket of any religious committment to equilibrium analysis.

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