TITLE

J.R. Commons's Institutional Economics

AUTHOR(S)
Rutherford, Malcolm
PUB. DATE
September 1983
SOURCE
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Sep83, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p721
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article represents an attempt to interpret and evaluate economist John R. Commons' work in the light of some recent thinking on institutions and institutional change. The argument here supports those who would place Commons outside of the economist Thorstein Veblen/C.E. Ayres tradition within institutionalism, but, more important, Commons is found to have provided a more general, coherent, and potentially valuable theoretical contribution than has often been supposed. This contribution, however, will be seen as lying more in the area of institutional theory than in the field of law and economics as such. Commons attempted to provide an integral and logically coherent treatment of (1) the nature and function of property rights and other rules and their effect on economic transactions, (2) the behavior of private collectives and judicial and political processes of decision making, (3) institutional change, and (4) proposals for institutional reform. His work can be seen as standing between the neo-classical and Veblen/Ayres approaches. Commons rejected the psychologism of orthodoxy, and anti- individualism of the Veblen/Ayres tradition, and the treatments of knowledge in both. Because of his individualism Commons shares more with orthodox theory than do most institutionalists, but his rejection of psychologism and his instrumentalism bring him closer to other institutionalists.
ACCESSION #
4674109

 

Related Articles

  • The Demarcation between the 'Old' and the 'New' Institutional Economics: Recent Complications. Dequech, David // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Jun2002, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p565 

    Proponents of the Thorstein Veblen-John R. Commons variety of institutionalism have distinguished this school from the so-called "new institutional economics (NIE)." The contrast between Old Institutional Economics (OlE) and NIE is clear when, for example, an economists attributed to NIE the aim...

  • The Beginnings of Institutionalism. Mayhew, Anne // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Sep87, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p971 

    The article discusses the origins of the institutionalism in the context of the economic and intellectual history of nineteenth century U.S. The accelerating urbanization, corporate industrialization and more activist government reflected a profound change in the character of the economy and...

  • Institutionalist Perspectives on Immigration Policy. Peach, Jim // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Jun2007, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p369 

    The article discusses the institutionalist viewpoint on immigration issues. There are several opposing opinions for and against increasing or decreasing immigration restrictions. Several economists, including Thorstein Veblen, believed that there should exist less restrictive policies as...

  • The Social Psychological Underpinnings of Commons's Institutional Economics: The Significance of Dewey's Human Nature and Conflict. Albert, Alexa; Ramstad, Yngve // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Dec97, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p881 

    Economist John R. Commons asserted in the preface to his book "Legal Foundations of Capitalism," that he sought to formulate a volitional conception of market processes to supersede the mechanistic and naturalistic theories forwarded by his predecessors. While it was no doubt clear to all...

  • John R. Commons, the New Deal and the American Tradition of Empirical Collectivism. Tilman, Rick // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Sep2008, Vol. 42 Issue 3, p823 

    Few critics will question that the high tide of the influence of American institutional economics was reached during the New Deal. John R. Commons, Thorstein Veblen and their disciples reached the apex of their impact on public policy as sources of doctrine, policy-making and advising. Commons...

  • The Bloomington School and American Institutionalism. Groenewegen, John // Good Society Journal;2011, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p15 

    The article offers the author's insights on the connections of the theories and philosophy of American institutionalism with Bloomington School in Indiana. The author relates the works of John R. Commons and Thorstein Veblen on the said topic. He discusses the differences of American...

  • Human Agency, Cumulative Causation, and the State. Mayhew, Anne // Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Jun2001, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p239 

    This article presents the views of the author on receiving the Veblen-Commons Award. In a very famous passage in his famous essay "Why Is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?" Thorstein Veblen said that humans are not passive recipients of pleasure and pain. With similar understanding, John R....

  • Vicarious Learning and Institutional Economics. Almeida, Felipe // Journal of Economic Issues (Taylor & Francis Ltd);Dec2011, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p839 

    Psychological insights have been present in institutional economics since its beginning. Recently, cognitive aspects of institutional economics have been highlighted. The proposal of this paper is to offer other psychological insights related to institutional economics, which are complementary...

  • Veblen, Commons, and the Modern Corporation: Why Management Does Not Fit Economics. Le Texier, Thibault // Homo Oeconomicus;2013, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p79 

    From the late eighteenth century, economics revolved largely around the market. At the end of the nineteenth century, the everyday activities of developing corporations modified the usual field of economic investigations. However, economists were slow off the mark and seemed reluctant to give a...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics