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“Economics meets the other sciences: interpreting new economic programs and proposing new theories for Institutional Cognitive Economics”

Ambrosino, Angela and Gigante, Anna Azzurra (2016): “Economics meets the other sciences: interpreting new economic programs and proposing new theories for Institutional Cognitive Economics”.

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Abstract

This paper provides an interpretative key of the mechanisms underlying the emergence of several new economic programs working on the borders between economic theory and other social sciences. To this aim, it applies and updates J. Davis’ distinction among inward and outward oriented research programs, through the inclusion of new economic strands and the construction of a visual model showing interactions among orthodox, mainstream economics and new research programs. Institutional Cognitive Economics appears a paradigmatic case of outward oriented field. This aspect has been explained by showing the significant exchange process among institutional economic theory and cognitive sciences characterizing this research program. After a careful examination of its main traditional analytical tools, the paper proposes a new potential program for the development of the field, suggesting new analytical tools coming from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and social psychology. These new tools shed light on some crucial cognitive mechanisms which regulate knowledge production process, both at individual and social level. The study considers them as a fundamental integrative tackle in order to interpret part of standardization and evolution mechanisms underlying institutional norms. Finally, both traditional and new analytical tools have been systematized in a grid showing their main contribution to the field and distinguishing them according to the individual and social dimension of knowledge production.

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