The fundamental problem is that Marcal has created a straw economic man
out of Adam Smith.
If the birth of 'economic man
' can be traced to the 'European Enlightenment' (p3), why not push further back?
in the Classroom." Journal of Political Economy, 80(5): 1069-73.
substantive rationality of economic man
. (133) However, we often must
On abstracting, is it rational to rely so completely on rational and self-serving economic man
, and are values or ideology hidden within the rational structure of economic theory?
Fortunately, some economists have sought to quantify and challenge a narrow version of "economic man
" through the study of behavior.
Myers, The Soul of Modern Economic Man
: Ideas of SelfInterest, Thomas Hobbes to Adam Smith (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983).
Modern finance tells us this is achieved by the theory and actions of the "economic man
", a rational investor operating in efficient markets.
He suggested that international development efforts were hindered by prevalent conceptions of human nature that, for example, reduced human beings to an "economic man
" that "pursues his self-interests in a rational, calculated, and self-maximizing manner within an arena of competition over scarce resources."
Two gender papers review feminist criticisms of the mainstream concept of the rational economic man
and the history of feminist engagement with social reproduction.
Herbert Simon (1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1972, 1976, 1979) made it clear that this schematized model of rationality and the economic man
is divorced from reality.