Why the problem of reductionism in biology has implications for economics

World Futures 37 (2):69-90 (1993)
  Copy   BIBTEX


For several decades, economists have been preoccupied with an attempt to place their entire subject on the ‘sound microfoundations’ of general equilibrium theory, with its individualistic premises. However, this project has run into seemingly intractable problems. This essay examines underlying questions such as the appropriate building block of analysis and the structure of explanation in economics. The examination of biology is found to be instructive, due to debates concerning the limitations of reductionism within that discipline. The final part of the paper argues for the autonomy of a non‐reductionist macroeconomics, based on the institution as the unit of analysis.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

48 (#327,245)

6 months
11 (#349,904)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The sciences of the artificial.Herbert Alexander Simon - 1969 - [Cambridge,: M.I.T. Press.
Order out of chaos: man's new dialogue with nature.I. Prigogine - 1984 - Boulder, CO: Random House. Edited by Isabelle Stengers & I. Prigogine.

View all 40 references / Add more references