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A Kuhnian Paradigm Shift in Economics Is Overdue

| 2021-08-18 | Hits:

China Social Science Review

No.2, 2021


A Kuhnian Paradigm Shift in Economics Is Overdue



John Komlos


Mainstream economic theory is stuck in the 19th century conception of human beings and their interaction in markets. Homo oeconomicus as a theoretical construct is essentially pre-Freudian and pre-Pavlovian. Economists need to shed their anachronistic canon in order to become relevant for the 21st century. Hence, students must be introduced to the workings of real-existing markets from the very beginning of their studies in order to understand the Achilles heels of real markets and the formidable challenges that lie ahead. However, this requires a Kuhnian paradigm shift away from orthodox dogma and toward a discipline that starts with behavioral economics and incorporates such concepts asymmetric information, relative incomes, basic needs, the need for countervailing power to offset the power of mega-corporations, the threats of hyper-globalization, and recognizes the dangers of continual pollution and degradation of the earth’s natural resources in order to achieve a just society that also considers the needs of generations yet unborn.