Chapter 1: Introduction Next Chapter

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Introduction
Introduction

Assume competition. On thousands of occasions each day, in lectures, discussions, books, and journals, one finds the expression assume competition. And on each such occasion, the expression is taken to mean that one is being asked to assume the foundational premises, structure, and implications of the theory of perfect competition. Good communication is economical; to place the adjective “perfect” before the noun “competition” is simply redundant. That it frames the language, hence the discourse, of mainstream economics testifies as to the dominance of the theory of perfect competition.1

All disciplines have research traditions.2 In economics, for example, one finds the neoclassical, institutional, evolutionary, historical, “Austrian,” Keynesian, and Marxist traditions. Research traditions have a knowledge content (i.e., concepts and theories), a methodology (i.e., a set of ...

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