What is a Left economics? (Or, why economists disagree)

By Guillaume Allègre

What is a Left economics? In an opinion column published in the newspaper Libération on 9 June 2015 (“la concurrence peut servir la gauche” [“Competition can serve the Left”], Jean Tirole and Etienne Wasmer reply that to be progressive means “sharing a set of values and distributional objectives”. But, as Brigitte Dormont, Marc Fleurbaey and Alain Trannoy meaningfully remark (“Non, le marché n’est pas l’ennemi de la gauche” [“No, the market is not the enemy of the Left”]) in Libération on 11 June 2015, reducing progressive politics to the redistribution of income leaves something out. Continue reading “What is a Left economics? (Or, why economists disagree)”

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In memoriam. Raymond Boudon

By Michel Forsé

Raymond Boudon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris Sorbonne, died at the age of 79 on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. It is difficult to summarize so much fruitful work. He was of course the leader of the school of thought known as methodological individualism, which holds that the collective is always the result of rational individual actions. He devoted much of his effort to setting out the foundations for this and attached great importance to the thought of Max Weber. At the beginning of his career, his personal contacts with the American Paul Lazarsfeld led him to develop a formalized and rigorous approach to social facts, in contrast to the structuralism which was so much in vogue at the time and which he disliked. For Boudon, as the title of one of his latest books (2011) suggests, sociology was a science in the strict sense of the term. In a similar vein, he also tried to show in numerous articles and books all the havoc that ideological and cultural relativism could inflict. Continue reading “In memoriam. Raymond Boudon”

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