Document Type




Format of Original

20 p.

Publication Date



Cambridge University Press

Source Publication

Journal of Institutional Economics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1017/S1744137405000263


This paper investigates whether since the 1980s neoclassical economics has been in the process of being supplanted as the dominant research programme in economics by a collection of competing research approaches which share relatively little in common with each other or with neoclassical economics. A shortlist of the new approaches in recent economics includes game theory, experimental economics, behavioral economics, evolutionary economics, neuroeconomics, and non-linear complexity theory. Two hypotheses are advanced – one regarding the relation between economics instruction and economics research and one regarding the nature of the economics research frontier – to describe social-institutional practices that contribute to the replication of economics as a field. Two further hypotheses are advanced – one regarding the boundaries of the field and one regarding how the field appraises itself – to create a historical–methodological framework for evaluating the question of change in economics and change in recent economics in particular. Finally, the paper distinguishes three leading explanations – the ‘breakdown’ view, the ‘takeover’ view, and the ‘maturity’ view – of why neoclassical economics no longer dominates a mainstream economics.


Published version. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 2, No. 1 (April 2006): 1-20. DOI. © 2006 Cambridge University Press. Used with permission.

Included in

Economics Commons