InBeyond Positivism, Behaviorism, and Neoinstitutionalism in Economics, Deirdre Nansen McCloskey zeroes in on the authoritarian cast of recent economics, arguing for a re-focusing on the liberated human. The behaviorist positivism fashionable in the field since the 1930s treats people from the outside. It yielded in Williamson and North a manipulative neo-institutionalism. McCloskey argues that institutions as causes are mainly temporary and intermediate, not ultimate. They are human-made, depending on words, myth, ethics, ideology, history, identity, professionalism, gossip, movies, what your mother taught you.  Humans create conversations as they go, in the economy as in the rest of life.

Our member Deidre McCloskey has a new book out on Positivism, Behaviorism, and Neoinstitutionalism. Here is also a conversation about her book.