© 2017

Rediscovering Social Economics

Beyond the Neoclassical Paradigm


  • Explores how alternative approaches to social economics influence mainstream discourse

  • Critically analyzes normative and behavioral assumptions underpinning labor and financial markets

  • Provides a fresh treatment of the neoclassical idea of market equilibrium


Part of the Perspectives from Social Economics book series (PSE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Humans, Society and Markets

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 3-15
    3. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 31-40
    4. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 41-56
    5. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 57-67
    6. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 69-86
    7. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 87-101
  3. Income Distribution: Labor and Financial Markets

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 105-120
    3. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 121-131
    4. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 133-144
    5. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 145-152
    6. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 153-164
    7. Roger D. Johnson
      Pages 165-173
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 175-191

About this book


This book argues that economists need to reengage with societal issues, such as justice and fairness in distribution, that inevitably arise when discussing the basic economic problem of unlimited human wants and finite resources. Approaching the problem through a history of economic thought, Johnson reexamines Adam Smith’s contributions to show how they reach beyond neoclassical models that are too simplistic to reflect the growing interdependencies of market economies. He breaks down supposedly value-free neoclassical postulates to expose normative assumptions about economics and justice, demonstrating, for example, that the concept of market equilibrium is problematic because need-based behavior can produce involuntary unemployment even when a competitive labor market achieves equilibrium.


plutonomy opportunity cost Pareto Optimality marginal utility mondragon cooperative Carl Menger Pareto Optimality utilitarianism conspicuous consumption Thorstein Veblen behavioralism behaviouralism Marginal productivity marginal contribution unemployment Mondragón Cooperative plutonomy Neoclassical paradigm

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.MechanicsburgUSA

About the authors

Roger D. Johnson is a retired Professor of Economics from Messiah College, USA. He earned the Helen Potter Award from the Association for Social Economics for best article appearing in the Review of Social Economics in 1990.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking