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Heterodox Economics

Foundations of Alternative Economics

Hasan Gürak

Mainstream economic textbooks propose a kind of economic world which can only exist in fictitious markets where producers and consumers interact like robots, relations are mechanical and assumptions utopian. Accordingly, the expositions are, in substance, nothing but sophistry. Yet, many economists are becoming more and more discontent with the sophistries of mainstream doctrines. The book presents some realistic alternative approaches to the conventional ‘unrealistic’ attitudes of mainstream economists in order to pave the way for a further development of new ideas.


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The institution that most changes our lives we least un- derstand, or, more correctly, seek most elaborately to misunderstand. That is the modern corporation. K. Galbraith; The Age of Uncertainty, p.275 As empirical evidence on the global economic performance indicates, there is a widening gap in the economic welfare and technological advances between the so called Developed Countries (DCs) and Developing or Less Developed Coun- tries (LDCs). Neither the popular import-biased economic growth strategies of the 1950s and 1960s nor the highly praised export-biased growth models have been successful in transforming the LDCs from the ranks of the less developed into the levels of the developed welfare state prevailing in Western industrial- ized countries. As a recent World Bank study indicates: “The last decade of the 20th century saw great progress in parts of the world. But it also saw stagnation and setbacks, even in countries that had previously achieved the fastest rates of economic growth. These gaping differences and sharp reversals teach us much about what contributes to development. At the center is economic growth, not just its pace but—as important—also its quality.” (World Bank,2000; p.XXIII) The World Bank claims that there is often inadequate attention paid to certain crucial aspects and recommends the broadening of the policy framework to in- clude some qualitative aspects. Accordingly, the World Bank focuses on four dimensions of quality which contribute to the growth process; 1- Improving the distribution of opportunities; 2- Sustaining natural capital; 3- Dealing with global financial...

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