Journal of Economic Issues

Volume 31, December 1997

Journal of Economic Issues

Volume 31, December 1997

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Alexa Albert and Yngve Ramstad

The Social Psychological Underpinnings of Commons's Institutional Economics: The significance of Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct

The Social Psychological Underpinnings of Commons's Institutional Economics: The Significance of Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct B3 - Commons contended that psychology is fundamental to economic explanation and made negotiational psychology, with its key explanatory principle Willingness, a central element of his analytical framework. Declaring that social, not individual, psychology lies at the base of transactional behavior, Commons explicitly linked his standpoint to Dewey's "social psychology of custom." Commons never explained the relationship. Textual analysis is employed to demonstrate that Commons' presumptions about the nature and role of habit, the relationship between habit and custom, and intelligence-in-action are concordant with Dewey's perspective. The significance of this actuality for Commons's system is explored. B6- J. Econ. Issues B7- December, 1997 B8- 31(4), pp. 881-916 C4- B4 - University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, U.S.A.; University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, U.S.A.

Tooman, L. Alex

Multipliers and Life Cycles: A Comparison of Methods for Evaluating Tourism and Its Impacts

Given the importance of tourism in the world economy, and its attraction for communities seeking to increase income and employment, it is important to recognize the inadequacy of the common multiplier approach in assessing the impacts of tourism development. In any locale, tourism changes as the industry develops, and it changes the economic landscape with it. This article reviews life cycle models that attempt to incorporate these changes, and considers the incorporation of social welfare indicators in these models, specifically with reference to the region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the U.S.A., J. Econ. Issues December, 1997, pp. 917-932, Portland General Electric Company, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Chasse, J. Dennis

John R. Commons and the Special Interest Issue: Not Really Out of Date

Critics of John R. Commons assume that contemporary writings on special interests invalidate what he wrote about pressure groups. The critics however argue from the standpoint of an adversarial democracy in which preferences are fixed while Commons assumed a deliberative democracy in which dialogue and inquiry can modify preferences. As a result, the critics miss Commons's insight that the problem is not one of controlling interest groups but of channeling their energies toward inquiry into the definition of reasonable values and the attainment of an evolving public purpose. Contemporary scholarship supports the relevance of the Commons position. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1997 , pp. 933-949, SUNY College at Brockport, Brockport, New York, U.S.A.

Kildegaard, Arne

Foreign Finance and the Collapse of the Mexican Peso

The capital surge of the early 1990's presented Mexican policy makers with a dilemma between risking public debt accumulation and risking price stability. Attempting to straddle the horns, Mexico wound up impaled upon both. Now, despite a decade of reforms aimed at privatizing exchange rate risk, the government has absorbed a large portion of the losses stemming from the 1994 collapse of the peso. - J. Econ. Issues, December, 1997, pp. 951-967, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, U.S.A.

Mansell, Robin

Strategies for Maintaining Market Power in the Face of Rapidly Changing Technologies

The presence of competition in the information and communication services market is not a sufficient indicator that monopolization strategies have ceased to be effective in the face of rapid technological change. This paper offers an institutional perspective on the strategic positioning of the players in U.S. and European markets observing that the potential exists for the undue exercise of market power albeit in new forms and on the part of new players in the industry. Regulatory intervention focused in key areas will be necessary if smaller, newer entrants are to flourish in interactive service markets. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1997, pp. 969-989, The University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

Dugger, William M. and Sherman, Howard J.

Institutionalist and Marxist Theories of Evolution

Full understanding of social evolution requires a theory of cumulative causation focusing on technological change within specific institutional contexts. But some kind of theory of human conflict--class, racial, gender, vested interests versus the common person--is equally vital to understand why resistance occurs, how it is overcome, and how change unfolds. Good institutionalist theory and good Marxist theory both provide these vital components of a theory of social evolution. Furthermore, their different formulations and emphases can enrich each other. J. Econ. Issues, December 1997, pp. 991-1009, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.; University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California, U.S.A.

Knoedler, Janet T.

Veblen and Technical Efficiency

It is well known that Thorstein Veblen accused the turn-of-the-century captains of industry of sabotage. What is not so well known is that, for Veblen, sabotage was not simply a pejorative term. By sabotage, he meant a "conscientious withdrawal of efficiency." But efficiency, as both Veblen and a number of the engineers of his time used the term, was not the now-standard microeconomic efficiency. Veblen espoused a "technical," rather than a cost-based, definition of efficiency, a concept that is explored in this paper. J. Econ. Issue, December, 1997, pp. 1011-1026, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Brinkman, Richard

Toward a Culture-Conception of Technology

The meaning and conception of technology, as offered by Thorstein Veblen and interpreted by C.E. Ayres, among others, has evolved over time. The culture-conception of technology conforms to the growing recognition in the institutionalist literature that social institutions need not always be ceremonial but can also serve instrumental functions. Social institutions are consequently integral to technological development as well. Therefore, social institutions in their origination and evolution can also be amenable and permeable to the dynamics of useful knowledge. B6 - J. Econ. Issues, December, 1997, pp. 1027-1038, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon,U.S.A.

Van Lear, William and Fowler, Lynette

Efficiency and Service in the Group Home Industry

This paper compares the relative operational efficiencies of for-profit group homes with nonprofit and public group homes in North Carolina. Do efficiency and service differ across the different types of institutions? This paper employs data tabulated by an accounting firm on group home operations. Nonprofit and public group homes are more efficient and provide better service than for-profit homes. The paper suggests that a human service motivation compels efficiency, and funding agencies and community boards force accountability from nonprofit executives. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1997, pp. 1039-1050, Belmont Abbey College, Gastonia, North Carolina, U.S.A.; Gaston Residential Services, Gastonia, North Carolina, U.S.A.

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Last Updated on: Friday, January 23, 1997