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Perfect Competition and the Transformation of Economics

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Perfect Competition and the Transformation of Economics is a provocative book which argues that the assumptions of perfect information and perfect competition revolutionized economics, doing untold damage to the discipline. These concepts have provided the rationale for the sort of active state intervention long warned against by the Classical economists. This phenomenon has also obscured the extent to which entrepreneurial activity, which brings long term benefits to society, depends upon the exploitation of asymmetric information.

Frank M. Machovec demonstrates that a Walrasian vision has had a detrimental impact on the definition of economics and on its policy prescriptions. He then examines how economists have come to accept this outlook, and how it transformed four key areas of study--industrial organization, comparative systems, the economics of development and international trade.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures
1 Introduction and Overview 1
2 Statement of the Problem 14
3 The Magnetic Lure of Market Socialism 52
4 Competition and Entrepreneurship in Classical Political Economy 96
5 Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship in Classical Political Economy 139
6 The Perfectly Competitive Model: Evolution Or Revolution? 159
7 Competition and the Law 201
8 Evolution Versus Revolution: The Conventional Wisdom 236
9 Alfred Marshall, Increasing Returns, and Competition 250
10 Perfect Competition: Ascendance and Impact on Habits of Thought 268
11 Stylized Assessment of Gain Versus Pain 294
12 Summary and Conclusions 300
Notes 317
Bibliography 342
Name index 373
Subject index 383
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