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Evolutionary Microeconomics [Hardcover]

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Item description for Evolutionary Microeconomics by P. Bourgine Jacques Lesourne...

Classical microeconomics is intended to explain how a price system is able to coordinate the economic agents. But even if it can be extended to incomplete information and externalities, it remains grounded on very heroic assumptions. Agents are endowed with a very strong rationality, equilibrium is stated without a concrete process to achieve it, market is the unique institution considered. Evolutionary microeconomics is aimed at bypassing these limitations by considering a dynamic approach, however not biologically oriented. Agents have local information and bounded rationality, they are involved in explicit processes of interactions through time, various institutions sustain the market or substitute to it. It explains then some phenomena hardly explained by classical microeconomics: dispersion of prices, variety of industrial structures, financial bubbles.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 2, 2006
Publisher   Springer
ISBN  3540285369  
ISBN13  9783540285366  

Availability  107 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 05:09.
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Engaging Supplement to Graduate Micro Text  Oct 6, 2007
This textbook can serve as a supplementary text in a year-long graduate micro sequence, a main textbook in a graduate course on evolutionary microeconomics following a year of standard microeconomics, or an advanced undergraduate "honors" textbook. The authors position themselves as strong critics of traditional microeconomic theory, but they consider the main flaw of traditional theory to be "narrowness," so virtually every contribution in the volume is a deepening of, an elaboration upon, a dynamic version of, and/or an evolutionary version of a standard microeconomic model.

From an analytical standpoint, the book has two relatively strong chapters (out of 9), one on learning by imitation and the other on modeling competitive dynamics among firms in the same industry. Every chapter has some analytical model-building, but generally the ratio of verbiage to model building is very high. There is a tendency to ignore the major journal articles on topics in favor of lesser-known contributions by the authors. For instance, the chapter on institutions references Alchian and Dempsez and Coase, but not Williamson or Hart. Moreover, in good microeconomic tradition, there are absolutely no facts brought to bear on theory, and behavioral economics is barely mentioned.

There are lots of small points to criticize in this volume. There is no index or master bibliography, and the chapter references to the literature are very brief and tend to stress old books and articles rather than the work being done today. The translation from the French is pretty awful. I have taught economics in French, and I am acutely aware of the difficulty of finding the perfect translation of common economic terms, but the translators here do not even try. Here are some examples: (a) "the theory of restricted relativity, proposed by A. Einstein"; (b) "it exists a `standard paradigm'; (c) "it deals with the adequation achieved"; (d) "the agent is always confronted to well-defined problems"; (e) "Contrary to the common vulgate shared by some evolutionnists"; (f) "the only way to escape from this infinite regression...";(g) "evolutionnist game theory".

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