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Human Agency and Material Welfare: Revisions in Microeconomics and their Implications for Public Policy / Edition 1

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Overview

Human agency means the ability and desire of individuals to choose how well they work and how they work. The central role of agency can be traced to the work of the late Harvey Leibenstein, inventor of x-efficiency theory and contributor to principal-agent theory. In this book, the author extends the basic agency model where choice of effort affects productivity and efficiency to one in which choice of effort also affects choice of technology. Further, the author argues that higher wages do not necessarily mean lower profits - for instance, higher wages may "shock" a firm into becoming more x-efficient, thus raising its marginal-product-of-labor curve. The book argues against traditional neoclassical beliefs including such ideas as competitive markets erode discrimination and that the integration of firms through mergers and acquisitions can save substantial transaction costs. In summary, this book calls for a new approach to the study of economics from a socio-economic and behavioral perspective.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Calling for a new approach to the study of economics from a socio-economic and behavioral perspective, Altman (economics, U. of Saskatchewan, Canada) extends the basic human agency model where choice of effort affects productivity and efficiency to one in which choice of effort also affects choice of technology. He also argues that higher wages do not necessarily mean lower profits and argues against traditional neoclassical beliefs including that competitive markets erode discrimination and that the integration of firms through mergers and acquisitions can save substantial transaction costs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792398189
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 9/5/2007
  • Edition description: 1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 133
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. I Introduction: Wrestling With the Neoclassical Colossus 1
Ch. II Human Agency as a Determinant of Material Welfare 11
Ch. III Interfirm, Interregional, and International Differences in Labor Productivity: Variations in the Levels of X-Inefficiency as a Function of Differential Labor Costs 29
Ch. IV High and Low Wage Paths to Economic Growth: A Behavioral Model of Endogenous Economic Growth 53
Ch. V The Economics of Exogenous Increases in Wage Rates in a Behavioral/X-Efficiency Model of the Firm 69
Ch. VI Labor Market Discrimination, Pay Inequality and Effort Variability: An Alternative to the Neoclassical Model 93
Ch. VII A Critical Appraisal of Corporate Size and the Transaction Cost-Economizing Paradigm 107
References 119
Index 129
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