Advanced Institutional Economics 551 Syllabus Instructor Information



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Advanced Institutional Economics

Economics 551

Syllabus
Instructor Information

James I. Sturgeon

Office: Manheim Hall, 220 B

Phone: 816/235 2837

E-mail: jsturgeon@cctr.umkc.edu

Office Hours: Tuesday-Thursday

8:30-9:15am & 11:00am-noon

Other times by appointment
Reading List:
John Dewey Human Nature and Conduct

Marc Tool, Editor, Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Volume I.

Clarence E. Ayres The Theory of Economic Progress*[p]

John R. Commons, Institutional Economics: Its Place in Political Economy, pp. 649-875

Paul David, “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY,” AER, May 1985.* [p]

Ken Dennis, Boland on Friedman, Journal of Economic Issues, September, 1986

John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty, selected chapters indicated later in outline.

J. Fagg Foster, "The Theory of Institutional Adjustment" Journal of Economic Issues, Dec. 1981.

J. K. Galbraith, "Power and the Useful Economist," American Economic Review, March 1973

Wassily Leontief, "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, 1971.

Robert Montgomery, "Historical Fact" Unpublished Paper* [p]

Yngve Ramstead, “’Reasonable Value’ vs. ‘Instrumental Value’” Journal of Economic Issues, September 1989.

_____, “John R. Commons’s Puzzling Inconsequentiality,” Journal of Economic Issues, December 1995.

Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise*

_____ , “The Limits of Marginal Utility”* [p]

William T. Waller Jr., “The Evolution of the Veblenian Dichotomy: Veblen, Hamilton, Ayres, and Foster,” Journal of Economic Issues, September, 1982. [p]

[p] These materials are considered prerequisites. If you did not take the prerequisite at UMKC and/or have not read these materials they should do so will all deliberate speed.
* Available electronically at the Web site for this course
Electronic Access
Information on this class is available at the following electronic address:
http://cei.haag.umkc.edu/institutional
Each student should visit this site and sign the guest book.

Also each student will submit all material for the class to the instructor via e-mail. This will be done either by submission to this site or to the instructor’s e-mail address.



Course Coverage

Institutional Economics in the Veblen-Dewey-Commons mode


  • Method and philosophy of knowledge

Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Mirowski

Ken Dennis, Boland on Friedman, Journal of Economic Issues, September, 1986

John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty, esp ch 1-3 & 7

Wassily Leontief, "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, 1971.

Robert Montgomery, "Historical Fact" Unpublished Paper*


  • Theory of human behavior

Dewey, HNC

Ayres, Ch 5



Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Mayhew, Jensen

Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Lower, Neale, DeGregori, Ranson,

Ayres, Ch. 1-4, 6-9

_____, “John R. Commons’s Puzzling Inconsequentiality,” Journal of Economic Issues, December 1995.

Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise*

_____ , “The Limits of Marginal Utility”*

William T. Waller Jr., “The Evolution of the Veblenian Dichotomy: Veblen, Hamilton, Ayres, and Foster,” Journal of Economic Issues, September, 1982.



Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Hickerson

Ayres, ch 10

John R. Commons, Institutional Economics: Its Place in Political Economy, pp. 649-875

Yngve Ramstead, “’Reasonable Value’ vs. ‘Instrumental Value’” Journal of Economic Issues, September 1989.



Foundations of Evolutionary Economics, Hayden, Tilman

Ayres, Ch 11-13

Paul David, “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY,” AER, May 1985.*

Course Requirements


  • Final Examination - May 6, 8:00-10:00pm. Combination in-class and take-home essay questions. (100 points)




  • Research paper final draft due date April 20, (100 points)




  • Class presentation - A presentation and discussion of an article or chapter of book on reading list. Each presentation should last approximately 10 minutes and should provide a concise statement of the fundamental point(s) of the reading and should stimulate discussion. A schedule for the presentations will be determined on January 27. (50 points)


Questions

The following questions will help to guide the reading, class discussion and lecture. It is also expected that students will be able to answers (at least in part) some of the questions on the examination and on Masters comprehensives.



Part 1 -- Questions on Human Nature, Method and Value
1. How does Dewey view the determination of human behavior?
2. What is the importance of human behavior in economic activity?
3. What is the importance of a theory of human behavior in economic theory?
4. What does Dewey mean by uncertainty?
5. What does Dewey mean by inquiry?
6. What is the importance of uncertainty in inquiry?
7. What does Dewey mean by good?
8. What is the importance of deliberation in, behavior, inquiry and valuation?
9. What is the distinction between positive and normative?
10. How does the theory of valuation address the dualism between positive and normative?
11. What is instrumental valuation?


  1. What is meant, in the Institutionalist view, by value and by valuation? What is the difference? What is important about this distinction?

13. What are some of the implications of what Dewey refers to as the separation of knowledge and action?


14. What is inhibitory and intellectually unsatisfactory about the quest for certainty?

Part Two. Questions on the process of economic change

1. What does Foster mean by institutional adjustment?




  1. How does Foster explain the process of institutional adjustment?




  1. What policies and procedures, consistent with Dewey's continuum of means and ends, would be appropriate to reduce the rate of cutting in the Amazonian Rain Forest?

4. Is technology dehumanizing?



5. What is the meaning of the term appropriate technology?
6. What would different Institutionalists have to say about appropriate technology
7. What does Veblen mean by the machine process?
8 What does Veblen mean by business enterprise?
9. What is Veblen's theory regarding the interaction of the machine process and business enterprise?
10. What is the relationship between Munkirs theory of Centralized Private Sector Planning and Veblen's theory of business enterprise.
11. What is the importance of power in economic activity? What impact does it have on decisions about economic activity?
12. Where does planning fit into economic activity and economic organization?
13. What is the Institutionalist theory of price determination?
14. What is the Institutionalist theory of income distribution determination?
15 How might we effect an increase in social wealth and reduce the invidiousness of the community?


  1. What policies would an institutionalist advance to deal with problems of unemployment?




  1. What is the relationship between QWERTY and positive feedback?




  1. How are QWERTY and positive feedback related to Institutional theory?

 


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