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The Institutional Economy

Demand and Supply
David Reisman, Professor of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Surrey, UK
This thorough and comprehensive book examines the role that institutions play in economic life. The discussion begins with common values, shared traditions and individual habits which have their roots in the past. It goes on to consider consumer preferences, needs and wants, altruism, malevolence, intrinsic motivation, organisational memory and the social capital that is embedded in networks and communities. Its conclusion is that there is a case for a broadly-based economics which is a science of norms and standards as well as a theory of prices and costs. Culture is continuity and pattern. Precisely the same is true of supply and demand.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £93.00 Online: £83.70
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 978 1 84064 674 0
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic Psychology
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Institutional Economics
The institutional economy is the economy of rules and laws, conventions and precedents. It is prices but also practices, change but also constancy, individual but also interdependence. David Reisman argues that conformity and repetition as well as new initiatives and mould-breaking departures constitute the essence of supply and demand.

This thorough and comprehensive book examines the role that institutions play in economic life. The discussion begins with common values, shared traditions and individual habits which have their roots in the past. It goes on to consider consumer preferences, needs and wants, altruism, malevolence, intrinsic motivation, organisational memory and the social capital that is embedded in networks and communities. Its conclusion is that there is a case for a broadly-based economics which is a science of norms and standards as well as a theory of prices and costs. Culture is continuity and pattern. Precisely the same is true of supply and demand.

The Institutional Economy deals with a topic that is of increasing importance in social economics and political economy. It will be of interest to all social scientists concerned to make demand and supply more relevant to the economic conditions of the present day.
‘This book is well structured and easy to follow, even though it deals with difficult material. It deserves to be read by all who are interested in escaping the narrow boundaries of current mainstream economics.’
– Anna Soci, Review of Political Economy
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Economy as Society 3. Present as Past 4. Society as Past 5. People and Things 6. Benevolence 7. Malevolence 8. Needs and Wants 9. The Demand to Supply 10. Organisational Order 11. Organisational Cost 12. Conclusion Bibliography Index