Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 2 > Issue 1-2

Sociology and the Imperialism of Economics

Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany and Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,
Suggested Citation
Ulrich Witt (2015), "Sociology and the Imperialism of Economics", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 2: No. 1-2, pp 195-202.

Publication Date: 29 Jul 2015
© 2015 U. Witt
SociologyDisciplinary imperialismGeneral equilibrium theorySociobiology


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. The Disciplinary Imperialism Issue 
3. General Equilibrium Theory – Ideology and Fiction 
4. Conclusions 


In their paper to be discussed here, Gintis and Helbing elaborate on a broad range of topics. Their major suggestion is, however, that the notion of general social equilibrium should be made the core of sociological theory, mimicking in this respect the role of general equilibrium theory in economics. In my comment I raise several objections against this suggestion from an economist’s point of view. The critique focuses on the implicit ideological content of general equilibrium theory, its fictional status, and its inability to account for premises and research interests that appear central to sociology.