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Hardcover | Out of Print | 116 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | August 2000 | ISBN: 9780262194426
Paperback | $24.00 X | £19.95 | 116 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | January 2002 | ISBN: 9780262692793
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Marshall's Tendencies

What Can Economists Know?


The world of economics is a complicated and messy place. Yet modern economic analysis rests on an attempt to represent the world by means of simple mathematical models. To what extent is this possible? How can such a program cope with the fact that economic outcomes are often driven by factors that are notoriously difficult to quantify? Can such mathematical modeling lead us to theories that work? In these lectures, John Sutton explores what he calls the "standard paradigm" that lies at the heart of economic model building, whose roots go back a century to the work of Alfred Marshall. In probing the strengths and limitations of this paradigm, he looks at some of the remarkable successes, as well as deep disappointments, that have flowed from it.For sales in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, contact Leuven University Press at fax (+32)16/32.53.52 or


“"Sutton creates with a few broad and brilliant strokes and many nice touches a bright picture of the standard economic paradigm. Using interesting cases and drawing upon the history of the discipline he presents a refreshing perspective on the future of the discipline. The picture will fascinate anyone who is methodologically interested; it will inspire those who are working within the standard paradigm, and will seriously challenge the critics."”
Arjo Klamer, Professor in the Economics of Art and Culture, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
“"Sutton gives an erudite and provocative account that challenges economists to rethink the roles of theory and evidence in our discipline. Serious students of economics should pay careful attention to Sutton's ideas."”
Paul Milgrom, Leonard and Shirley Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Department of Economics, Stanford University