Tenets of Neoclassical Economy

Topics: Economics, Free market, Capitalism Pages: 6 (2166 words) Published: April 23, 2013
The objective of this academic essay is to discuss the main tenets of neoclassical economic liberalism, explain whether less developed countries should entirely depend on developed countries not and give the reasons. According to Schumpeter (1954), the classical school of economics was developed in the 1750 and lasted as the mainstream of economic thought until the late 1800. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nation book published in 1776 can be used as the formal beginning of classical economics but it actually evolved over a period of time and was influenced by Mercantilist doctrines, Physiocracy, the enlightenment, classical liberalism and the early stages of the industrial revolution. Adam Smith is recognized as the originator of classical economic. John Stuart Mill a British philosopher 1806-1873 is often regarded as the synthesizer of the school. While Adam Smith would be regarded as the originator and leader of the school, David Ricardo 1772-1823 should be credited with establishing the form and methods of school. Neoclassical economic liberalism is based on principles of namely free competition, a self-regulating market economy, and low or no taxes on income and property, while sharing with other forms of liberalism "a belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties. Liberalism has long history rooted in the theories of liberal political thought. It focuses mainly on the individuals rights. It attaches a lot of value to personal freedom be it political or economical. It strives to limit the state’s influence in the economic and social life of society. Liberal theorists believe that economic life should not be interfered by constitutional and legal rights to run all the national or public services. Economic life should be let flourish on its own without interference by the state. Therefore, the cornerstone or the most important thought of liberalism are free trade and free competition (Schumpeter 1954). Neo-classicists see the market for organising economic activities and individuals and companies are rewarded for their efficiency. The market is seen to be at the centre for economic growth and not the state. In other words, Neoclassical seek to understand economic development in terms of the market behaviour of individual actors and therefore can be described as essentially individualistic (Downs 1957). Economics is a science that studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means that have alternatives uses. Neoclassical economics pursues this study by means of supply and demand models that determine prices based on the subjective preference for determining prices in order to escape from the so called objective value theory of classical economics, according to which the value of goods could be established by reference to some basic commodity or the labour input required to produce a good. Neo-classicists hoped that by throwing away objective values, economics could be placed on a more scientific basis as an essentially descriptive and predictive theory of human behaviour (Thirlwall, 2006). Neoclassical economics can be understood in terms of both its subject matter and its method. The subject matter of economics deals with variables such as incomes and prices, and aggregates like gross national product, employment levels and inflation rate. The methods offer a way to think about large number interactions within markets, although in principle the range of social institutions can be extended to include politics. The characteristic feature or main tenets of the neoclassical method are instrumental rationality, methodological individualism, economic self interest, equilibrium analysis and the use of mathematical techniques (Riker, 1982). With instrumental rationality entails that agents are supposed rational in a broad sense that their behaviour can explained in term of their preferences....
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