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Agreement on Demand: Consumer Theory in the Twentieth Century (History of Political Economy Annual Supplement) Hardcover – 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0822366683 ISBN-10: 0822366681 Edition: Supplement

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Product Details

  • Series: History of Political Economy Annual Supplement (Book 38)
  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press; Supplement edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822366681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822366683
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,308,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History of Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of The Effortless Economy of Science? also published by Duke University Press. D. Wade Hands is Professor of Economics at the University of Puget Sound.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sutter on April 8, 2010
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The essays in this book shed light on some serious inconsistencies in the neoclassical economic theory of consumer demand. In terms of the "Three Schools" characterization of 20th Century NCE that Philip Mirowski (PM) and some of his colleagues, including co-editor D. Wade Hands, have proposed, the emphasis is on the MIT and Cowles Schools, with relatively little on the Chicago School.

The collection is a departure from most of PM's other monographs and edited/co-edited volumes in a couple of ways. First, while much of PM's work emphasizes an external critique of NCE, this book also includes a good dollop of an internal one. That is, some essays focus more on ways in which the theory doesn't quite work in its own terms, rather than highlighting, say, the ideological or epistemological matrix in which the theory developed. Second, and perhaps as a result of the first, it assumes far more familiarity with the substance and mathematical techniques of the papers being discussed than is usual in the PM "thought collective"'s books. If partial differential equations make you pale, or Lyapounov exponents leave you perplexed, you might not get so much out of this book. Having most of the necessary math background, though, may not inoculate you against finding some articles drier than others (e.g., John Chipman's).

Even if it's a bit of a struggle at times, a very good reason to read this book is that it questions some of the most fundamental teachings of Econ 101. Moreover it often does so on different grounds from the by-now familiar complaint that people aren't always "rational". For example, your prof or textbook probably told you that a demand curve -- purportedly showing the market demand for a commodity or service -- is just a sum of the demand curves of individual consumers.
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