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Economic Theory, Affection and Family
Homero Cuevas [pdf] [html]

[Key words: family economics, marriage, feelings, economic theory, JEL: B10, B12, B13, B25, B29]

This essay is a commented bibliographic inventory of the references in the economic thought concerning the affection and the family, from Adam Smith to the authors that recently have formalized models toward this subject. Within the commented authors are: Smith, Malthus, Sade, Fourier, J.S. Mill, Masoch, Engels, Veblen, Boulding, Tullock, Posner, Becker, Pollack y Bergstrom.

Illegality, Metaorders and Metapreferences
Jorge Iván González [pdf] [html]

[Key words: illegality, collective rationality, wide rationality, metapreferences, metaorders, JEL: K42, D71]

This paper parts from the work developed by Sen about metaorders and metapreferences to explain illegality as a rational problem. After showing the scope of this categories, the author exposes some limits of the benefit cost analysis of illegality. He continues suggesting that the concept of metapreferences contributes to understanding the fuzzy space that exists between legal and illegal frontiers, and between legitimacy and illegitimacy. González point out the necessity of a more detailed analysis of the way in which beliefs and desires shape individual and social preferences, if we don’t want to fall in simplistic explanations of illegality based on an arbitrary criteria of the good. He concludes too that the inconsistency of metapreferences can explain why more expenditures in security and justice don’t result in a reduction of impunity.

Defense, Justice and Security Spending
Carlos Esteban Posada y Francisco González [pdf] [html]

[Key words: defense, justice, security, expenditure, efficiency, JEL: H56, H53]

The criminality rate in Colombia (crime/population) grew rapidly between the middle seventies and eighties, since then it had shown a declination, but the country still observes high indices of criminality, mostly in homicides and kidnapping. In a similar way defense, security and justice spending have grown. This paper will present some reasons that explain, from an economic point of view, the growth of these spending, the conditions that make it increase or decrease in an optimal way and which establish a complementary relation (marginal) between the magnitude and the efficiency of these spending.

From Market to Instinct (or from Interest to Passions)
Félix Ovejero [pdf] [html]

[Key words: social order, market, individual interests, passions, emotions, JEL: B25, D59, D69, D72]

This essay analyzes liberal explanations of social order. Throughout exposition, Ovejero suggests the convenience of reviewing two central insights of liberalism, related with the way that the “problem" of social order is stated and its “solution" through the market. The “problem" is based on the unsustainable idea of presocial individuals inherent to liberalism. The article develops some arguments that shows why it has no sense to ask for the foundation of social order in that way. It supports that sociability can not be chosen, as the language can no be chosen either, in other words sociability can not be explained as a result of exchange or bargaining among individuals. The paper analyzes too the alternatives to explain the existence of social cement: passions, in terms of emotions and instincts, as the central basis that explains the way in which personal interests and the market would guarantee the social order.

Poverty in Smith and Ricardo
Edgar Pardo [pdf] [html]

[Key words: poverty, history of economic thought, Smith, Ricardo, economic theory, JEL: B12, B31]

This paper provides a comparison between Adam Smith and David Ricardo's treatments of poverty in a capitalist society. The comparison focus on the different arguments they use to relate poverty to inequality and institutional realities. The discussion points out the life experiences of each author and their intellectual interests, taking into account that poverty was one of the most pressing social problems faced by England between the 18th and 19th century. Smith associates poverty with the stability of social order; while Ricardo postulates that poverty is a function of the distributive struggle and the forces of population growth.

The Historical Evolution of Politics
Douglass C. North [pdf] [html]

[Key words: politics, economic history, institutional change, learning, JEL: N40, N43, N46]

In an earlier essay (North, 1981, Ch. 3) I developed a “Neo-Classical Theory of the State". This essay elaborates, extends and modifies that essay in three directions: 1. It incorporates time into the model; 2. It is explicitly concerned with the perceptions –the belief systems? that determine choices; and 3. It relates the belief systems to the external environment of the players; both the past environmental experiences that are incorporated in cultural conditioning and the present environmental experiences incorporated in “local learning".


Revista de Economía Institucional
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Cra. 1 No. 12-68 Casa de las Mandolinas
Bogotá, Colombia
(571) 2826066 ext. 1307

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