ERIC Number: ED186985
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Microeconomics, Socialization, and Norms. Program Report No. 79-B22.
Field, Alexander J.
Microeconomic theory encompasses two basic theoretical concepts. First is the theory of general competitive equilibrium in a market economy, which holds that the actions of any one agent cannot affect prices or quantities for the system as a whole. The second is that when the conditions of competitive equilibrium do not apply, theories of games come into play. Games may involve cooperation, in which case payoffs to the agents involved are equal, or competition, in which case payoffs are unequal. Communication makes solutions easier in problems of cooperation, but provides no guarantee of success in problems of competition. Despite the self-serving tendencies of individuals in groups and the frequency with which competitive situations arise within groups, the ability of groups to exist and function provides evidence that social norms and conventions affect the behavior of group members. These social norms must, therefore, be considered in addition to the game theory aspects of microeconomic theory when an adequate model of group behavior is being sought. The socializing impact of such institutions as education must be explored, understood, and integrated into microeconomic theory before economic behavior can be explained adequately. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.